Alzheimer's dementia is the disease that affects the human brain, producing structural changes in its level that subsequently cause memory loss and ultimately lead to the death of the patient. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia in the elderly and accounts for half of all dementia cases.
The first clues
Well, it is easy to diagnose because in the subject's life there are many changes of behavior and attitude, which are very easy to notice by the others. Many changes take place at many levels such as:
Speech disorders. These are manifested by forgetting the usual words, which I get to replace with expressions such as: "this", "how he says it", "you understand", "my word does not come now".
Recent memory disorders. When subjects forget about recent events, recently stored information, and then all these episodes become generalized.
Lack of initiative. It is often manifested by continuous drowsiness, watching TV all day without watching something in particular and refusing to perform daily activities.
Disorders of the provision. It manifests itself through sudden changes of disposition, they can become morose or angry for no reason, they no longer find pleasure in the activities they enjoyed before.
Bizarre behavior. They tend to put things in strange places, they can dress in clothes that are not suitable for the outside weather. There are situations in which they become unmanageable, in most cases, personal hygiene is poor, either by wearing unwanted clothes or forgetting to wash. In many cases, the subjects are disoriented, these people may wander in places they previously knew very well, they may even forget the address they live in. Difficulties are also encountered in carrying out daily tasks, such as preparing the meal, leaving the house for various purposes. Although they occur less rarely, visual or auditory hallucinations, or episodes of physical or verbal aggression may occur from the onset of the disease.
In DSM-IV, the evolution of the disease is conventionally divided into three stages.
● loss of orientation;
● losing the ability to initiate certain activities;
● not adapting to new and unfamiliar situations;
● delayed reactions and slowed memory capacity;
● disturbances of judgment, wrong decisions;
● difficulties in using the money;
● disorders of affective disposition, irritability, restlessness; Intermediate phase:
● problems in recognizing people in the family;
● difficulties in reading, writing and calculating;
● difficulties in dressing alone;
● logical thinking problems;
● accentuated mood disorders, hostility towards close persons;
● loss of temporal orientation;
● unjustified suspicions, ideas of persecution, jealousy, pursuit;
● the need for permanent supervision and care;
Advanced (late) phase:
● patients do not remember that they have to wash, get dressed, go to the toilet;
● I lose the ability to chew food, to swallow, forget that they have already eaten and claim to be served again;
● difficulties in maintaining balance, difficulties in walking;
● confusing states, sometimes with agitation, especially at night;
● loss of the ability to communicate through words;
● loss of control of the bladder or intestine (incontinence for urine and feces);
The current treatment that exists on the market does not cure the disease, but it slows its progression and improves the patients' symptoms, which significantly improves their quality of life. At present, the treatment is free and is prescribed by the evaluation committee, being needed the evaluation of a psychiatrist, neurologist and a clinical psychologist.
In reality, many changes occur in the life of a family when a member of the family suffers from this disorder. In addition to proper drug treatment, the patient needs specific care, that is, to be washed, nourished, and protected from anything that may hurt him.
To make this period easier to manage, it is important that the person in the care of an Alzheimer's suffer psychological counseling. Once because it would have details about the disease and its evolution, but especially for managing their own emotions and the specific states that those who come in contact with a suffering person have.