By Dr Vikram Kishore Reddy P
Consultant Neuro Physician
Published on 20/09/2022
World Alzheimer's Day is observed on September 21st yearly to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease (AD). The theme of World Alzheimer's day 2022 is Know dementia, Know Alzheimer's.
This year's theme is the same as 2021, but it has a special focus on post diagnosis support.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is responsible for 60-70% of dementia cases, and the numbers are expected to grow in the coming decades. Neurodegenerative diseases usually begin slowly and worsen over time. Unfortunately, Alzheimer's disease cannot be reversed; however, with increased awareness, patients' families can learn to manage the condition.
What is Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a common form of dementia among older adults. Dementia is a brain disorder involving loss of mental functions that seriously affects daily life and activities.
It impacts human memory power, thinking skills, and the ability to perform the most basic tasks.
Some of the symptoms of AD are:
- The patient forgets the name of places and struggles to recognize family members and long-time friends.
- Language problems, disorientation (including easily getting lost), mood swings, loss of motivation, self-neglect, and behavioral issues can all occur a the disease progresses.
- Asking questions repeatedly
- Poor judgments and finding it hard to make decisions.
- Get lost in their area or surroundings
- Easily misplace items
- Disturbed sleep
- Difficulty eating and swallowing (dysphagia)
- Difficulty to move around without support or assistance.
- Have difficulty identifying objects, expressing thoughts, or participating in conversations?
- Forget about conversations, appointments, and events and won't recall them later.
Medications may temporarily improve or slow the advancement of symptoms. Various therapy programs and services are available to help people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers.
The precise cause of Alzheimer's disease is unknown. However, on a fundamental level, brain proteins fail to function normally, which disrupts the mechanism of the brain cells (neurons) and sets off a chain of toxic events. Neurons are damaged, lose their connections, and eventually die.
Alzheimer's disease is caused by genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors that affect the brain over time. No permanent AD treatment has been found till now.
What are the risk factors for Alzheimer's disease?
The risk factors that can cause this neurologic disorder include:
- Old age
- Down's syndrome
- Head injuries
- Cardiovascular disease
- Physical inactivity
- Air pollution
- Untreated depression
The Significance of World Alzheimer's Day
- This day unites people worldwide to fight Alzheimer's and dementia.
- Everyone, including patients, caregivers, researchers, and medical professionals, gather to share their experiences regarding the disease.
- Alzheimer's day raises awareness about valuable education by focusing on a specific theme every year.
- The theme helps in solving common misconceptions about the neurologic disorder.
- It also allows organizations to be recognized for their outstanding work in this field and help them achieve their goals.
This World Alzheimer's Day aims to raise awareness and reach out to people who need guidance and support. By spreading awareness and educating people, we can help people suffering from this neurologic disorder to lead a manageable and enjoyable life.