Brain is a conundrum and has managed to give the scientists a hard time about its complete comprehension. As a result, the discoveries about disorders that effect the brain are a constant work in progress as well. One such disorder is Alzheimer’s.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that leads to loss in memory, thinking skills and other cognitive skills. Caused due to aged brain cells, this disorder ultimately gets to a debilitating point where the person is unable to control their motor skills as well.
Therefore, they become completely dependent on the caretaker. All the basic skills are essentially acquired; from the practice of chewing food to moving. Due to the memory loss in this disease, everything you have learnt gets lost.
Since brain cells do not rejuvenate, there is no way around the disease. The only possible outcome is to better manage the disease so that its progression is delayed some and the patient suffers less from the severe form of Alzheimer’s and the subsequent complications.
According to recent findings, damage to the brain from the disorder starts ten years before the symptoms of the disease start. The onset of the disease then brings about the relatively subtle and innocuous symptoms that get passed off as signs of old age. However, paying heed to these signs and visiting the best Neurologist in Islamabad can significantly improve the prognosis.
Even though symptoms of Alzheimer’s can vary from person to person, whoever, some are common amongst the patient. These early signs of Alzheimer’s to watch out for include:
We all have bouts of forgetfulness. Especially during old age, when the brain slows down, but the life remains equally challenging. And while every time you misplace your keys or can’t remember other mundane things, you should not jump to conclusions about being ill.
However, in Alzheimer’s, forgetfulness is more common and becomes more pronounced with passing time. Patients then rely on others or aids like sticky notes to keep reminding them of things.
Initially, while the long-term memories remain intact, it’s the short-term memories that patients have a hard time placing. This tends to mislead people; surely if the patient remembers things from decades ago, they are fine. Alas, this distinction is important.
Difficulty in completing tasks:
People suffering with Alzheimer’s find it hard to complete the tasks they were once proficient at. The things can be simple like the recipe to a dish, or directions to a familiar place. Such subtle nuances generally go unnoticed otherwise and do not raise hackles.
In the early phases of the disease, patients forget certain words that affects their ability to carry a conversation at times. Their ability to learn new words is also reduced.
However, many chalk it up to old age and the subsequent foggy brain.
While it may happen to the best of us, misplacing things amongst other signs should not be ignored. Patients alongside failing to retrace their steps to find the things, also end up placing them at rather unusual spots.
Losing track of day and event:
A seemingly innocuous symptoms of Alzheimer’s is forgetting times and events. Patients lose track of which day or date it is. They also have a hard time understanding events that are happening in the future, and the present is only what they have grasp over.
Not exclusive again to just the patients of Alzheimer’s are the mood swings and behavioral changes. Patients lose interest in their social activities and become more isolated. They spend more of their time in sleeping etc.
Moreover, the disease also causes patients to become depressed.
Mild loss of coordination:
Patients have harder time doing everyday things like walking and using family utensils. Since the loss of coordination is mild initially, it is harder to discern.
Balance and spatial orientation:
People suffering from Alzheimer’s have trouble balancing themselves which effects their gait. Moreover, they also have trouble with spatial orientation which makes them unable to effectively guess the distance.
Consequently, patients end up spilling things or themselves have frequent falls.
Prone to bad judgements
People with Alzheimer’s have their critical thinking impaired as well. This makes them a poor judge and more susceptible to being conned. They also have more trouble managing their finances.
Become less responsible
Alzheimer’s also prevents people from remembering to take care of themselves. As a result, patients often let themselves go and become less particular about their hygiene as well.
Moreover, they are also able to take care of those around them, especially pets.
While most of these symptoms can be attributed to old age and are not very conspicuous, when they occur together, it is best to consult the Best neurologist in Lahore and get an accurate diagnosis.