A non-governmental organisation, Gabi Williams Alzheimer’s Foundation (GWAF), will today join million of other foundations across the world to mark 2017 world Alzheimer’s day celebration.
The organization, like other organizations across marks World Alzheimer’s and dementia Day, every September 21.
In a statement released for the 2017 world Alzheimer’s day, GWAF reechoed that awareness on the health condition remains key to adequate management of the condition and the people affected by it.
It explained that the condition usually begins with loss of short-term memory that may cause the individual to forget names, instructions and recent conversations, often leading to the individual constantly repeating questions and the content of recent conversations.
The disease further degenerates into personality changes and may be characterized by paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations, which can cause further exacerbate caregiver distress. In the late stages, individuals with Alzheimer’s disease may lose their ability to communicate altogether with others and typically become fully dependent on others for care such as feeding, bathing, and clothing. In certain cases, Alzheimer’s disease may be complicated by seizures.
GWAF said that the disease progresses into the moderate stages the individual may begin wandering and getting lost on familiar routes, and may struggle to complete tasks he or she could previously perform with ease.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a group of disorders that impairs mental functioning. GWAF clarified that Alzheimer’s should not be seen as normal part of aging, however, the greatest known risk factor is increasing age, hence the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older.
However, Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease (also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s.
The foundation explained that Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
According to Gabi Williams Foundation, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease, the foundation explains, accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.
Although the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not fully understood, it includes a combination of genetic factors, lifestyle factors, and environmental factors.
Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed following a neurological examination that may include neuropsychological testing (this involves tests of memory domains, problem solving, attention, counting, and language), brain scans, and the exclusion of reversible conditions that may mimic Alzheimer’s disease, usually through blood tests.
Advanced brain scans and spinal fluid examination are available in some centres that enable more precise diagnosis based on pathological findings such as the presence of amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and tau protein.
Following the diagnosis, most individuals with Alzheimer’s disease live for an average of 8 to 10 years, although this life expectancy can be as little as 3 years depending on the age of diagnosis and the presence of other medical commodities.