Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by gradual mental deterioration. This is an incurable disease, that moves from gradient to gradient of gradual mental deterioration. The most common symptom of this disease is memory loss.
People affected by this disease have difficulty in remembering names of their own people, remembering places, or even remembering recently spoken words and sentences. The diagnosis happens only after a series of tests to check the level of reasoning, judgment and learning of the patient.
As the disease progresses there can be violent hallucinations, increased irritability, depression, unsociability, extreme moodiness, and long-term memory loss. In the most advanced stages, the patient may be permanently immobilized due to deteriorated muscles.
There is no known cause of Alzheimer’s disease. There have been numerous hypotheses that have been formulated. One such is pointed to the lower production of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter. In other words, it is a chemical that is responsible for transmitting signals from a neuron to another.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s. The disease can only be slowed-down or controlled. The following are some of the treatment options.
1) New innovative brain scanning methods have been developed that study the brain activities like movement of signals between neurons.
2) The drugs for Alzheimer’s are acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors. These drugs prevent the disruption or disintegration of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter, and thus restore the level of acetylcholine.
This helps prevent the patient from undergoing further memory loss and cognition problems. There are three drugs currently marketed in the market. They are namely Aricept, Exelon, Razadyne, Exelon Patch and Tacrine.
3) Psychological help is one other treatment method. The patient is encouraged to do activities on his own. The patient takes the help of memory pads, diaries, and to-do lists to navigate through the day. There is also a technique of frequently jotting down names, events, and dates in the diary.