Both Alzheimer’s and dementia are both degenerative brain disease, common among people aged 65 and over. The disease causes gradual deterioration of brain function, and to this day the causes of their development are unknown and no cure has been found. However, early diagnosis of the diseases may delay the disease’s susceptibility by appropriate drugs.
How to recognize the disease?
There are some symptoms that may indicate in the early steps of the disease. Please note that those symptoms also be suitable for other diseases of dementia.
- Memory loss: The person is able to remember events from the past, but suffers from short-term memory problems. Memory problems are frequent and severe over time.
- Difficulties in orientation in time and place: A patient with Alzheimer’s may be lost without remembering where he intended to go and why. He may lose his way in an environment that he knows well and even in his neighborhood because he has forgotten where he lives.
- Difficulty performing basic tasks: Because of the memory problems that characterize the disease, the Alzheimer’s patient may have difficulty performing familiar tasks. For example, he is able to lay a dish cooked on the gas and after a few minutes forget that he did so at all. Cases of this kind expose the patients to a real danger to their lives.
- Putting things in the wrong place: an Alzheimer’s patient places objects in places that are not intended for them for example he may put the key in the freezer.
- Problems with thinking: Alzheimer’s patients have difficulty performing simple calculations and complex tasks such as money management.
- Language problems: an Alzheimer’s patient tends to forget simple words, to combine sentences with unrelated words, so his speech is often misunderstood.
- Changes in personality:
- Manifested in drastic changes in the character of the patient. He can become, for no apparent reason, suspicious, confused, resentful and full of anxieties
- He can have extreme mood swings for no reason make sense. The patient passes within few minutes from laughter to crying or from peace to anger.
- Loss of initiative – the patient becomes passive, indifferent to what is happening around him and needs serious encouragement to be involved or take part in any activity.
In addition to these important warning signs relating to mental and perceptual functions, it is also important to pay attention to physical signs:
- Motorization: Walking slower or in a different format than usual, slowness in performing transitions, for example: entering or leaving the bed.
- Falls: Beyond the signs of dementia, attention should be paid to the fall of the elderly due to the risk of bleeding within the brain, hemorrhage in the brain cavities, which can cause pain, confusion and limited mobility.
- Weight loss: After eliminating physiological factors in various tests, weight loss can also be a sign of the onset of dementia. The loss of weight is caused by the fact that the elderly person does not remember eating or purchasing food products.
- Urinary incontinence disorders: urinary incontinence disorders usually begin with frequent urination, sometimes accompanied by uncontrollability.
- The symptoms are related to the lack of central control and control of the function associated with the closure.
- The main control is done in the cerebral cortex of the frontal lobe.
- It’s important to remember, that early diagnosis has an important part in the possibility of treating a person suffering from cognitive decline, and slowing down the rate of mental decline.
- If you have identified your parents or an adult closer to you than one of the symptoms listed, it is important to contact the doctor immediately for an examination.
Trying to prevent the disease:
The brain is a muscle, and as we get older, the brain cells die and impair its abilities. The cognitive ability of our brain gives us the ability to think, solve problems, remember names, reconstruct places and maintain concentration.
As we train other parts of the body, in order to keep them healthy and fit, we can also train our brains. The goal of training is to develop these abilities and prevent cognitive decline. Because the brain is an organ that can produce new cells, the more the challenge in training increases, the better the brain will be able to function.
The training is recommended for both young and old people, and is highly recommended to people who do not come into contact with cognitive challenges on a regular basis, and are not in contact with enough external stimuli such as meetings with people, and learning new things, ext.
How to train the brain? – Cognitive training
- Playing games: Puzzle solving, Sudoku, puzzles, reading books, home memory games, bridge and chess have been known for years as contributing to thinking about the intense concentration they require and the abilities they give to their participants.
In recent years, There are also computer games that develop memory and thinking abilities and are designed for all ages. In addition, there are word games that help develop our verbal ability and comprehension, including crossword puzzles, logic puzzles, scrabble and the word racing game.
- Nutrition – Proper nutrition is important and can also affect our cognitive abilities. Dietitians and nutrition experts say that certain foods contribute more to preservation and to improved memory. They generally recommend foods rich in B vitamins, especially B6 and B12, which are most commonly needed for the nervous system and brain. The same applies to omega-3, vitamin E, and iron.
- Meeting with people: A central and important issue is to encourage interpersonal interaction and “push” for active social gatherings, including getting to know new people.
- Browsing the Internet: Even this routine activity helps to improve cognitive ability, especially in older people. It is recommended not just to sit down and read articles but to perform various complex searches with the search engines, which will force you to think and thus activate the area of the brain that is responsible for drawing conclusions.