Frequently Asked Questions about Alzheimer’s disease

Many people believe that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are a normal part of the aging process. However, there is a major difference between forgetting a name here or a date there, and the cognitive ravages that AD causes – about which we can learn more in these frequently asked questions about Alzheimer’s disease (sponsored by Discount Medical Supplies).

Frequently Asked Questions about Alzheimer’s disease

What is AD?

Alzheimer is the most common form of dementia; a progressive and irreversible disease that kills brain cells, gradually and exponentially impairing memory, thinking, and language skills.

Is there only one kind of AD?

As a matter of fact, there are two types; early-onset and late-onset. It occurs in less than 5% of all cases of AD, but tends to become worse quicker and can run in families.

What is early-onset AD?

This is a rare form of AD that affects people aged 30-60.

What id late-onset AD?

The most common form of the disease; it usually affects people who are 60 years old or older.

What are the stages of AD?

In broad strokes, the stages of the disease could be broken down into mild, moderate, and severe – each one segueing into the next.

What causes AD?

Medical experts have not determined the exact cause of AD yet, but the consensus is that it might be a combination of the following factors:

·         Genetics.

·         Lifestyle.

·         Environment.

What are the risk factors for AD?

·         Age is the most well known risk factor.

·         Family history.

·         Female gender.

·         A personal history of head trauma.

·         Having Down syndrome.

·         Mild cognitive impairment.

·         Increasing evidence shows high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low levels of the vitamin folate, obesity, smoking, and other heart disease risk can factors may contribute to AD as well.

·         Research is being conducted on whether diet and education, as well as  also play a part in the development of AD.

What are the signs and symptoms of AD?

The early symptoms may vary from one person to the next. The first signs may include such non-memory issues as:

·         Trouble finding words.

·         Visual/spatial problems.

·         Impaired reasoning/judgment.

Mild AD symptoms may include:

·         Increasing memory loss.

·         Wandering and getting lost.

·         Difficulty handling money and paying bills.

·         Repeating questions.

·         Taking longer than normal to finish everyday tasks.

·         Personality and behavior changes.

Symptoms of moderate AD may include:

·         Worsening memory loss and confusion.

·         Inability to recognize family and friends.

·         Inability to learn new things.

·         Inability to complete more complex tasks like getting dressed.

·         Hallucinations.

·         Delusions.

·         Paranoia.

·         Severe AD may include the following symptoms:

·         Inability to communicate.

·         Depending completely on a caregiver.

·         Immobility as the body shuts down.

How is AD diagnosed?

·         Medical  history.

·         Memory, problem solving, attention, counting, and language tests.

·         Blood and urine tests.

·         Brain scans.

·         Physical and neurological exams.

Can AD be cured

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

How is AD treated?

Certain medications can help maintain mental function for a limited period of time, while others can help manage the behavioral symptoms of AD.

Can AD be prevented?

Certain habits have been linked to a decreased risk of developing AD, for example leading an active physical and mental life.


Related: Busting myths about Alzheimer’s disease