Alzheimer’s disease

In an individual with Alzheimer’s the protein beta amyloid starts to accumulate in and is stored between the nerve cells of the brain. The interior of the cells starts to form fibrils, small tangles which prevent the transport of essential nutritive substances. These unhealthy changes gradually spread to several parts of the brain. The course of the disease often extends over several years Alzheimer’s disease develops gradually. In many cases it is confused with natural aging. Early symptoms include forgetfulness and difficulties orientating oneself in unfamiliar surroundings. It becomes harder to acquire new knowledge and things which used to be simple become more difficult to plan and execute. Anxiety is also associated with the disease.

Early signs of Alzheimer’s:

  • Harder to acquire new knowledge
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulties expressing oneself
  • Anxiety

The symptoms increase and become stronger. Other abilities also deteriorate gradually, for example language, perception of time and judgment. The disease makes it increasingly difficult to communicate. Help with getting dressed, hygiene and personal care eventually become necessary. Early diagnosis is important. Contact a doctor if you suspect that you have Alzheimer’s disease. An examination should be carried out as soon as possible. It is not possible to confirm the disease through a simple test. Instead, the diagnosis is based on a variety of tests and examinations and interviews with relatives. The examination usually takes several weeks.

Treatment and reception.

Great progress has been made in the research of Alzheimer’s, however there is no method at present to slow down the course of the disease. There is however medication which can ease the symptoms, primarily at an early stage. Means of assistance and several other methods of help can facilitate the daily life of those with Alzheimer’s. It is important that the symptoms are explained thoroughly in order to efficiently plan a good and meaningful life. As stress aggravates the symptoms, it is important to create a calm and peaceful environment for the individual with Alzheimer’s. Gradually additional assistance and support from the health care provided by society is required.

Some of the following symptoms may occur with Alzheimer’s disease: repetitive behaviour, confusion, disorientation, anxiety, hallucinations, pain. For more information about various symptoms click here.

Learn about symptoms

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