What is Alzheimer’s? Should I be worried? Get all the info

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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World Alzheimer’s Day is observed on September 21 to spread awareness and highlight the importance of discussing the causes and remedies of the diseases.

Introduced in 1994, this day has been celebrated ever since to resist the stigma surrounding the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 50 million people are affected by dementia with 10 million new cases being diagnosed each year.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disorder that starts with forgetting recent events and then makes it difficult to carry out daily activities. Alzheimer’s is one of the leading causes of dementia. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease in the severe stage need help with almost every task.

According to the experts, Alzheimer’s is mainly seen in the age group of 50-60 years and is not related to aging of the person. At the pathological level, there is an accumulation of abnormal proteins around the brain cells, which leads to its destruction. The exact mechanism has not yet been determined, but multiple factors, such as genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors, are at work.

There is no permanent cure for this disease, the medications prescribed and the therapies by the doctors concerned can delay the development of the disease and improve the quality of life of the patients. Therefore, only an early diagnosis of the disease is the best way to improve the condition of the patient, especially when permanent treatment is not available.

Risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease

  • Age: Although Alzheimer’s is not part of the aging process, people over the age of 65 are at higher risk for the condition.
  • Gender: This disease affects women more than men.
  • Family History: If one’s parents or sibling suffers from this condition, then the risk of getting a disease is automatically higher.
  • Head Injury: Researches have shown that Alzheimer’s risk and head trauma are linked.
  • High blood pressure: Studies say that hypertension puts one at a higher risk of heart disease as well as Alzheimer’s.
  • Unhealthy lifestyle: Lack of physical and mental exercise increases the risk in later life and obesity also increases the risk.
  • Smoking: Studies show that people who smoke are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Prevention methods

There are certain lifestyle-related habits that may not be directly responsible for Alzheimer’s but may increase the problems associated with this condition.

  • Avoid smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Include antioxidants, fresh fruits and vegetables in the daily diet.
  • Ensure required amount of sleep and
  • Walk for at least 30 minutes per day.
  • Stress, depression, and other mental health issues should never be ignored.
  • Keep blood pressure, diabetes under control and get involved in society and strive to maintain the brain active.
  • Take a positive approach to life and follow a healthy lifestyle.