Detection of Alzheimer’s disease has usually been based on symptoms and cognitive testing methods.This happens when the individual is already down with this disease.Basically, Alzheimer’s disease cannot be cured(at least for the time being) and can only be managed conservatively.But then what is Alzheimer’s disease?
This disease is also known as Senile Dementia.It was found by and named after Dr Alois Alzheimer in 1906.
Alzheimer’s disease is simply said to be an irreversible loss of memory (especially with the most recent events) which arises as an outcome due to damage to nerve cells in the brain and these cells are concerned with judgement, memory, language, behaviour, etc..
It is the commonest form of dementia which is progressive, this means that if these symptoms are not managed or treated well, they become worse over time.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE?
Alzheimer’s disease occurs as a consequence of specific protein build-up in the brain.These proteins are beta-amyloid and Tau proteins.Their build up damages the normal brain cells, as Tau protein forms tangles and amyloid protein forms plaques within and around the cells,because of this, there is a decrease in neuro transmission through chemical messengers.
• Age is a strong risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease.The chances of having this disease increases with age especially after 65 years of age.
• Family. Genetic factor plays a significant role in developing the disease, as the risk of having it is increased if a family member already has it.
• Other factors which are modifiable might include depression, cardiovascular problems, sleep deprivation, etc.
SYMPTOMS OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease might in one way or the other experience
• Difficulties in recalling recent events or happenings.
• Repetition in speech
• Misplacement of items
• Loss of orientation especially of time, location, date, person.
• Struggle with decision making
• Poor Judgement
• Visuospatial skills
• Easy Irritation
• Loss of appetite
DIAGNOSING ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
Long before now,Alzheimer’s disease was detected and diagnosed based on symptoms presented and also through PET (positron emission tomography) scan which could detect presence and level of the amyloid and Tau proteins.But these methods are quite expensive and more invasive.
Until recently, a new blood testing technique called Simoa was unveiled which could detect Alzheimer’s disease as early as 10 years before symptoms begin to manifest.This will go a long way in curbing the progression when detected on time, and this technique is cost effective and less invasive.It also opens the door to possibilities that Alzheimer’s disease can be stopped completely.