World Alzheimer's Day: All About Early- Alzheimer's Disease
World Alzheimer's Day: Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that can lead to memory loss gradually with other symptoms.
World Alzheimer's Day is observed on 21 September every year
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. It affects a patient's memory, thinking, and behavior. It often progresses to the point where it affects daily activities and functions. Manifestations related to Alzheimer's disease most commonly affect older adults, but it can also affect people in between the age 30 to 40 years. Occurrence of Alzheimer's disease in someone under the age of 65 years, is known as an early-onset (or younger-onset) of Alzheimer's disease. A very small number of people with Alzheimer's disease report an early-onset form. Mostly people are in their 40s and 50s when the disease takes a hold on them.
Majority types of early-onset Alzheimer's disease are the same, but there are a few distinctions too:
- Common Alzheimer's disease: People with early-onset of Alzheimer's disease, mostly report to the have the common form. The disease progresses in roughly the same way as it does in older people.
- Genetic (familial) Alzheimer's disease: This form of disease is very rare. A few hundred people have genes that directly contribute to Alzheimer disease. People suffering with this form of the disease start showing symptoms in their 30s, 40s, or 50s.
Symptoms of early onset of Alzheimer's disease
Symptoms for early-onset Alzheimer's disease, closely mirror those of other forms of Alzheimer's disease.
- Forgetting things, particularly newly learned information or other important dates
- Asking for the any information again and again
- Losing track of the date, time and year
- Losing track of where you are and how you got there
- Trouble solving basic problems
- Misplacing things and not being able to find its traces
- Mood changes
- Trouble joining conversations
- Severe mood swings and behavioral changes
- Deeping confusions
- Trouble speaking, walking or swallowing
- Severe memory loss
- Suspicion about friends, family and care givers
Diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's disease
The diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer disease depends on detecting the signs of mental decline, as noted above. Your doctor can administer a few tests for a confirmed diagnosis. Diagnosis always start from asking about patient's health history, doing cognitive tests of memory, problem solving, and other mental skills. Depending on the results of the initially administered tests, a healthcare provider may also advise a patient to undergo a more detailed testing, administered by a neuropsychologist. As a part of complete diagnosis, a doctor may also order for testing patient's blood, urine, and spinal fluid. Additionally a set of certain imaging tests such as CT and MRI scans of the patient's brain can be advised. These tests can give a doctor, a closer look into the patient's brain tissue to show how much damage has been done. In various parts of the world, researchers and medical science hope that in future, studies on biomarkers can allow experts to conduct a quicker diagnosis. Biomarkers are bodily proteins, or other type of markers, that reliably indicate the progression of a disease.
The suggestive treatment
Early onset Alzheimer's disease can only me managed and maintained basis patient's ongoing symptoms. The management of the disease can help it stop progressing and causing a further damage as unfortunately it doesn't have a cure.
(Dr P.N. Renjen is a Senior Consultant, Neurology at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals)
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