We Can Handle the Truth: The Facts on Alzheimer’s “Studies now show us that over 44 million people currently have Alzheimer's. Even though Alzheimer's disease is extremely prevalent, it is still surrounded by countless myths and misconceptions. Here is a quick look at four Alzheimer's facts that everyone should know.”
An Early Diagnosis Matters Just as with many other serious medical conditions, catching Alzheimer's early can have a dramatic impact on a patient's quality of life. While there is currently no cure, the management of this disease has improved by quite a bit in recent years. When this disorder is caught in its earliest stages, patients have a wide variety of tactics they can use to slow their cognitive decline and minimize the side effects. Most specialists generally suggest sweeping lifestyle changes including mental stimulation, regular exercise, and a healthy diet.
It Is Much More Than Memory
Forgetfulness might be the most common symptom of Alzheimerâ€™s, but this disorder affects much more than one's memories. According to a report published by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, almost all Alzheimer's patients have additional medical conditions that complicate their treatments and reduce their quality of life. Many of those who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's have diet-related disorders such as diabetes and high blood pressure. They might also develop issues with their senses including hearing and smelling.
Alzheimer's Is Tied to Poor General Health We currently do not know exactly what causes Alzheimer's, but doctors have discovered that it is closely tied to one's general health and well-being. Obese patients and those with diabetes develop Alzheimer's at much higher rates. We have also found that a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to this disorder as well. Many researchers believe that the narrowing of blood vessels could be one of the reasons why these conditions increase a patient's risk of Alzheimer's.
Family Members Suffer as Well Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's can be incredibly draining, and that is why many caregivers suffer from “caregiver burnout” or “caregiver stress.” These individuals often report much higher levels of stress with very little attention given to their own health. This is why it is suggested that all caregivers create a support team that can help them alleviate their stress and break their isolation. There are also face-to-face support groups designed specifically for those who care for older patients in the latest stages of progressive diseases such as Alzheimer's.
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