How Alzheimer’s Gets Diagnosed

How Alzheimer’s Gets Diagnosed

It starts with forgetting your phone, your car keys and ends with forgetting your car itself. Imagine coming out of the cinemas and getting frustrated as to where you parked your car! Looks like it happens to us some time or the other.

On a hectic morning, you have your car keys in the pocket, but you fine tooth comb your house for them. In the end, your wife tells you “Why don’t you look for them in your pockets for God’s sake?” You do and you are quite embarrassed.  Though this might seem to be a trivial everyday incident, imagine facing the mirror and not being able to recognise the person peering through the mirror.

That looks like something out of a horror flick right? This is but a sad reality for many!  Yes, something akin to the Hollywood flick Memento or our own Ghajini, Alzheimer’s disease is a horrific experience to both the patients and their families.

How Alzheimer's Gets Diagnosed

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Though quite different from dementia, Alzheimer’s is the most common kind of dementia. Dementia is a common term used to describe memory loss and cognitive difficulties. It can be severe enough to have reduced interaction with everyday life.

Dementia symptoms:

  • Memory loss.
  • Cognitive difficulties in language, attention, problem solving, judgement, planning, and spatial skills.

To exactly understand the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s the following analogy works. Dementia is like fever. It suggests that a person is sick, but it doesn’t specify the reason for the sickness whereas Alzheimer’s is a specific kind of illness.

Certain types of dementia are reversible. Dementia caused due to vitamin deficiencies and thyroid problems can be reversed. Alzheimer’s is the disease and dementia is a symptom. Though the occurrence of Alzheimer’s is common among the elderly it is not a normal part of aging.

With respect to India, the incidence of Alzheimer’s was thought to be low, but recent studies reveal that the incidence is high and 90% of these cases go unidentified. This is shocking.

If one is aware of the symptoms of this degenerative disease, then management would be easier.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease:

Mild:

  • Memory issues
  • Vocabulary issues.
  • Getting lost.
  • Not being able to manage money.
  • Repeatedly asking the same questions.
  • Losing things.
  • Taking longer time to do routine activities.
  • Poor Judgement.

Moderate:

  • Memory loss and confusion.
  • Not able to recognize family and friends.
  • Inability to learn new things.
  • Difficulty in accomplishing everyday activities.
  • Inability to cope up with new situations.
  • Having delusions.
  • Feeling paranoid.
  • Impulsive behavior.

Severe:

  • Not being able to communicate.
  • Inability to recognize oneself.
  • Weight loss.
  • Grunting and groaning.
  • Inability to swallow.
  • Lack of urinary and bowel control.
  • Increased sleep.

Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease:

Imaging techniques like MRI of the brain and PET scan of the brain that looks for plaques in the brain are some reliable diagnosis methods of Alzheimer’s disease.

Generally, a complete medical assessment is suggested by doctors including a study of the medical history, mental status, and physical and neurological tests. It’s found that a good physician can detect the presence of Alzheimer’s with more than 90% accuracy.

If you fear that any of your close ones have any kind of symptoms mentioned above, please contact some of the best doctors in Apollo Hospitals. You can now contact them online! Book an appointment here.

Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease:

Though there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, treatment is focussed around slowing the progression of the disease and retaining the quality of life. Having said that, there are certain medications that are approved by the FDA. For mild to moderate condition, drugs like donepezil, galantamine, and rivastigmine are given.

For severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s drugs like Memantine and donepezil are given.

Scientists are trying to find ways to prevent this disease by immunization therapy. This might take time, but it’s important for family members and friends of patients to be very cooperative and understanding. A lot of emotional support is also required to the patient. It’s even advisable to seek help from the local Alzheimer’s society.

If you find that you are getting a forgetful nature, it is better to get yourself evaluated.

To book appointments with the finest Neuro Surgeons for Alzheimer’s, visit the link below:

Neurosurgeon in Bengaluru   Neurologist in Chennai   Neurosurgeon in Hyderabad  Neurosurgeon in Kolkata

Authored by: Team Apollo

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