What Is Alzheimer’s?

A very brief overview of Alzheimer’s Disease

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of Dementia. The most common form of Dementia, in fact. Alzheimer’s is mostly known as a memory disease. But it is much more invasive than just jumbling or erasing one’s memories. It can affect all forms of cognitive abilities and physical abilities. There is no cure at this time. And is considered a terminal diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. Meaning it gets worse over time as the damage to the brain increases. The brain actually shrinks in size over time and develops what are called plaques and tangles.

When can a person develop Alzheimer’s?

Most people with the disease are over the age of 65. But there are occasions of early onset Alzheimer’s with symptoms showing up as early as ages 40-50.

Age is the most common risk factor known to cause Alzheimer’s disease.

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s?

Memory loss is the most common and usually the first symptom to be noticed, typically involving newly learned information. Other early symptoms include: confusion, disorientation, changes in mood and/or behavior, and being suspicious of others for no reason. As the disease progresses the symptoms can also include: difficulty swallowing, difficulty walking, and difficulty speaking.

People with the disease usually do not recognize or understand that they are having difficulty. This can cause obstacles in caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, causing frustration to both parties.

Dementia is NOT a normal part of aging.

 

For more information please visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.

 
 

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3 Comments

3 thoughts on “What Is Alzheimer’s?

  1. I love this blog, it makes me smile. I have Early Onset Alzheimer’s, and am beginning to realise how complex it is, there are thousands of us out there living well, writing, working, driving, giving lectures and just being everyday people.

    Thank you for sharing these snippets that show a lighter side to this hideous disease.
    Gill

    • I am so happy that these words make you smile. I think we get so wrapped up in the fear that comes along with any dementia that we forget the human experiencing it.

      My goal as a nurse and an artist is to show how much joy there is still left to be experienced even as the disease progresses. It truly is a devastating disease. I want to give dignity and humor to it. I love being an Alzheimer’s nurse.

      Thank you for sharing your appreciation. Any questions you have about what happens as the disease progresses, email me at Nurse.Moloney@gmail.com. I’m always available to help.

      • You are so right about the fear of this disease and giving this disease dignity and humour as you do is so important to dispel it. Thank you for your kind offer to answer questions, at present I am only focussing on my present, but will bear it in mind. Gill

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