Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that is frequently confused with dementia. At the same time, several people don’t have a clear understanding of what this disease is and how it affects its victims.
Consequently, when people are diagnosed with the disease or a loved one’s brain tests confirm their brain disease, they end up confused. To prevent that though, here is a quick look at some facts about Alzheimer’s disease:
- Alzheimer’s Disease Is A Progressive Disorder
Alzheimer’s is understood as a neurodegenerative ailment. Understanding the condition becomes better if you break down the word used to describe it. In that, ‘neuro’ stands for something that is related to the brain, whereas, ‘degenerative’ denotes deterioration or loss of function.
Hence, Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that results in the eventual loss of function of the brain cells. One other word used to explain is progressive, which means that the loss of function increases over time.
- Alzheimer’s Disease Is Not dementia
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are not one and the same thing although several people use the terms interchangeably. The fact of the matter is that Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia.
There are multiple types of dementia. Of these, Alzheimer’s is the leading type, resulting in 60-80% of all the patient cases. It is probably due to this reason that the two terms are used interchangeably.
- The Degenerative Ailment Does Not Have A Cure So Far
Building on the point mentioned above, Alzheimer’s does not have a cure so far. Some other types of dementia may be reversible. Whatever medications the patients are given in the case of Alzheimer’s dementia are to manage the symptoms of the disorder.
There is extensive research being conducted to better understand the cognitive ailment. Until now, researchers know that the disease occurs due to the accumulation of certain toxic proteins in the brain. However, there is a lot more research needed.
- The Progressive Cognitive Disease Mainly Affects Patients
Alzheimer’s is mainly a disease of the elderly people. About 1 in 3 seniors in the US dies due to Alzheimer’s disease or any other type of dementia. The risk for the disorder is largely present among the age bracket of 65 and above.
In certain instances, the disease can surface among people who are young. For instance, they may be aged around 30. Those cases go by the name of young onset dementia and are not as frequent as Alzheimer’s among elderly individuals.
- The Brain Disorder Is A Serious Cause For Concern
Alzheimer’s disease is a serious concern in the US and worldwide. In America, the disease is the leading cause behind death in the country. There are already about 5.7 million people who are patients of Alzheimer’s with the disease affecting a new patient every 65 seconds.
Not only is the disorder tough on the patient but it also adds to the burden of the caretakers. Alzheimer’s Association reveals that caretakers provide an estimated 18.4 million hours of care to patients of the cognitive ailment.