What is Alzheimer’s Dementia?


Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder that causes the brain cells to shrink, known as atrophy, and cause the brain cells to die. As a result, the cognitive functions of the individual declines leading to behavioural and social impairment.

Alzheimer’s disease was named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who first described the condition in 1906. The symptoms are milder initially but they become severe over time. It is known to affect mostly senile people i.e. over the age of 65 years but some case of early onset have also been reported.

Alzheimer’s disease can range from mild to severe. Alzheimer’s is different from dementia as dementia is an umbrella term that describes a range of conditions involving the loss of cognitive functioning and Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia.

Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Memory loss is the primary symptom of Alzheimer though initial symptoms may depend on individual to individual. In addition to memory symptoms, individuals may experience difficulties such as:

Memory loss resulting in dysfunction in daily life activities such as getting lost in a familiar place.
Difficulty in dealing with money and paying bills.
Trouble in finishing regular or familiar tasks at home or work such cooking, writing an email, etc.
Difficulty in situations that involve judgment.
Misplacing personal belongings.
Decline in thinking aspects such as finding the right words, impaired reasoning and visual or spatial difficulties.
Changes in mood and behaviour resulting typically in irritation or aggression.

Treatment of Alzheimer’s
Treatment for this condition may be designed to address these areas:

Maintaining a good brain health
Management of behavioural symptoms
Slowing the progression of disease

Medical Intervention: Alzheimer’s disease can be managed medically with dementia medications like donepezil , memantine etc and the doctor may prescribe antidepressants, anti anxiety or antipsychotic drugs to manage the specific symptoms such as low mood, anxiety, aggression and delusions.

Social Support: To manage the emotional and behavioral symptoms without medical intervention, the caregivers need to first identify the triggers that are causing these changes. Apart from this, caregivers can organize activities and day care programs and make use of support groups and services to deal with these changes.

Whole-body Approach: Novel method of treatment of Alzheimer’s focuses on addressing and integrating different factors of the body and lifestyle.It follows the Bredesen Protocol which determines risk factors based on genetics, lifestyle and current health and aims to reverse the impact of Alzheimers.

Bredesen Protocol includes treatment strategies such as diet management to decrease inflammation and improving intestinal health through management of micronutrients; lifestyle changes to reduce stress and optimize metabolism; brain related techniques for cognitive stimulation and rebalancing of hormone levels for overall well- being.

Overview- Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
What Makes the Bredesen Protocol So Effective in Treating Dementia?