Alzheimer's disease can sometimes be difficult to comprehend and understand. That is why awareness about its prognosis can go a long way in helping caregivers give their loved ones the proper care if they are ever diagnosed with the condition. In addition to understanding Alzheimer's disease, it is equally vital to know the difference between Alzheimer's disease and dementia, as many people tend to get confused between the two diseases. While Alzheimer's is a degenerative brain disease, dementia is a common form of the former. This means that dementia is not a specific disease but an umbrella term that describes a group of symptoms.
Dementia is a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities that impact a person's daily life. This means that Alzheimer's disease accounts for most cases of dementia, accounting for nearly 60-80 percent of dementia cases. Although age is the most significant risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, this condition is not a normal part of aging. While it generally tends to affect people over the age of 65, it can also happen in younger patients.
To date, Alzheimer's has no cure, although there are a few treatment options that can reduce its symptoms. Currently, many scientists and researchers worldwide are continuously striving to find advanced methodologies not just to treat the disease but also to delay its onset in patients who suffer from it effectively. It is best to be aware of symptoms related to Alzheimer's disease, as it has been proved that early diagnosis and intervention methods can improve patient outcomes to a great extent and improve the quality of life as well.
Ahead are a few reasons why early detection of Alzheimer's disease is critical for its treatment outcomes.
Some medical conditions have similar symptoms that look like dementia. For instance, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disease, sleep disorders, alcohol abuse, or depression can have symptoms like dementia. That is why it is critical to get a full medical assessment done, especially if you notice any mental and physical changes in not just yourself but also those you love.
Early diagnosis will allow Alzheimer's patients to be involved in their healthcare decisions to a great extent. This will enable them to make decisions, including designating medical and financial power of attorney. They will also be able to take other important life decisions like writing out a living will in which medical care choices and discussing their options and preferences, such as home health care and care facilities, can be finalized.
In general, the already approved medicines for Alzheimer's disease tend to be more effective and helpful in cases where an early diagnosis is performed. This is because the effectiveness of the treatment is quite limited and often only slows down the progression of the disease rather than reversing the symptoms. Some people respond pretty well and report an improvement when on medications, while others show little to no benefit, so an early diagnosis offers the best possible outcomes.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that, like the rest of our bodies, our brains also age as we grow older. However, severe memory loss, confusion, and other significant changes in how our minds work are signs that something is wrong. Getting it checked by an expert neurosurgeon is highly recommended. It is also essential to understand that signs of dementia and Alzheimer's may be more evident to family and friends, so keeping an eye out for such symptoms and getting them diagnosed on time is vital.
Fortis Hospitals, Mumbai's Neurosciences (Neurology & Neurosurgery) Department offers comprehensive care for the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of people with neurological disorders. With our wide-ranging services for neurological ailments, we are regarded as the premier Neurology and Spine Hospital in Mumbai. We are the leading hospital in the city providing a 24-hour stroke management program and minimally invasive spine surgery. Call 022 4925 4925 or install myFortis App to book an appointment.