Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that affects millions of Americans. This disease costs insurances and medical facilities billions of dollars every year, but the cost for the person afflicted with Alzheimer’s is much higher. Family members and caregivers also pay a price each day. It is important to understand what this disease is and how it can affect a person.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that affects the brain. It destroys cognitive function, causing the most damage to the memory and thinking skills. A person in the late stages of Alzheimer’s might not be able to take care of themselves, even in the simplest of ways. Alzheimer’s can make a person act in erratic ways, creating a different person that loved ones do not know or understand. The cause of Alzheimer’s is not known at this time, but researchers and scientists are studying this disease in hopes of identifying the cause and a cure.
Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Since Alzheimer’s affects the brain, the signs and symptoms usually correspond with memory and thinking skills. A person with Alzheimer’s can exhibit minor or major memory loss and have trouble remembering specific words. Even simple tasks become daunting challenges, and the person shows signs of disorientation and confusion. Alzheimer’s can also affect a person’s mood and behavior. Family members might notice a change in personality with the person demonstrating random bouts of anger.
Although there is not currently a cure for Alzheimer’s, there are treatment options available for managing this disease. The medications used for Alzheimer’s might not slow the progression of this disease, but they can relieve some of the symptoms, such as the forgetfulness or the mood swings. A doctor might also recommend physical activities and social interaction in order to help treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. These activities can include walking around a garden or taking a dancing class.