A form of dementia, this disease attacks the brain's nervous cells.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that attacks the brain’s nerve cells. Affecting over 4 million people a year, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia among older Americans. Dementia is often confused as a disease in and of itself but it’s actually a group of symptoms caused by other diseases. Although Alzheimer’s typically strikes after age 60, early-onset Alzheimer’s symptoms can begin in people in their late 40s.
Patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s experience a mental decline that begins with mild memory loss, sloping down to marked memory loss and finally in later stages, the patient struggles with inhibition, personality changes, the inability to cope with activities of daily living including personal grooming, and finally they become unable to respond to their environment.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Currently, there is no cure for the disease but treatment options are available in the form of medication and supplements to slow the progression and manage behavioral challenges. Attention should also be given to ongoing care for the patient with well-planned emotional support.