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What to expect when you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

 

What to expect when you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

 

If you’ve come to this page to seek information regarding Alzheimer’s disease, you’ve come to the right place.

What is Alzheimer’s disease? 
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disease of the brain that generally affects people age 65 and over. It affects brain cells that are responsible for memory functions. Alzheimer’s disease impairs short-term memory. The beginning stage affects short-term memory, and progresses by impairing intermediate and long-term memory. In the advanced stage, an individual can have trouble remembering who they are, the details of their birth and close individuals such as their spouse and children.

 

**When people get older, they have difficulty with their memory, such as where they placed their keys. That is not Alzheimer’s disease; that is merely the effects of aging. Memory loss can be considered a disease when it affects your major daily functions, like work, how to cook, how to drive etc.

 

How long does it take for one to develop Alzheimer’s disease?

It varies from person to person, but on average it can take five to ten years to go from the early stage to the advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a progressive deterioration. In the beginning it is generally diagnosed as a mild form.

 

What is Alzheimer’s Dementia?

There is a difference between Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s dementia. The term “dementia” denotes when people lose their memory due to malfunctioning brain cells. Dementia is a psychiatric condition where people can no longer function due to memory loss. Dementia is memory impairment that leads to disturbance in your daily functioning. People who have dementia often cannot be left alone, have trouble recognizing people around them and can’t function on their own.

Alzheimer’s disease is a disease of the brain cells that lead to dementia. Affected brain cells degenerate, malfunction and eventually lead to dementia. Once a person’s brain cells have Alzheimer’s Disease, they will eventually develop dementia, hence the name Alzheimer’s Dementia.

Many conditions can lead dementia, a common example being football players repeatedly receiving trauma to the head. Other causes of dementia are Parkinson’s disease, strokes, and pseudodementia of depression.

 

What can be expected?

There will be a progressive deterioration of function, such as taking care of themselves, their food, their work and paying their bills. They’ll make mistakes, and without treatment, the condition progressively worsens over time.

 

What advice can you give to the person who has been diagnosed?

There is some hope that new medications will come. The disease won’t change overnight. Advise the individual to use their capacity to focus on happy things and remember things from the past. Discuss with your loved ones what will happen and future plans.

What advice can be given to the caregiver?

Learn as much as you can about the disease. There are wonderful resources online and many supporting organizations. Talk with the patient’s doctor often and ask necessary questions for the future. Secondly, learn about caregiver burnout. Because taking care of such a patient with Alzheimer’s Dementia is a 24- hour job, you can easily experience a burn out. Join support groups, look into respite care, where two or so days out of the week the caregiver can get a break from the tiring job. Caregivers may need to see a doctor regularly to avoid developing depression.

Is there a silver lining for the Alzheimer’s community?

There are only four medications for Alzheimer’s disease and they aren’t as effective as doctors would hope. They are Aricept, Exelon, Razadyne and Namenda. There is a hope that new medications will come soon.

For the last 15 years, there have been no new medications that have been approved for Alzheimer’s Dementia. There are studies that look at neurotransmitters in the brain and monoclonal antibodies. At Medical Research Group of Central Florida, we are helping in the development of new medication to address the memory disfunction of patients with Alzheimer’s Dementia. We are looking at assessing the secondary conditions in Alzheimer’s disease, known as agitation. We are also doing a study for mild to moderate dementia, to minimize memory loss. 

Clinical trials can be of great benefit to those who's medications aren't working properly, or are looking at different potential treatment options. We are doing everything we can to help those dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, and clinical trials are one of the ways that we seek to benefit the Alzheimer's community.
 If you feel like you or a loved one would benefit from one of our clinical trials and would like to know more, call or click today!

 

 

Adly F Thebaud,

Assistant Patient Recruiter

 

 

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Reader's Comments

Posted By:
Tina Creer
[Saturday, October 17, 2015]
 

This is a very informative article. Thank you for sharing it. Hopefully, new medications come out soon to help those with both diseases. Are there studies connecting memory loss because of old age changing into Alzheimer's or dementia later in life?

Posted By:
le guilloux Herve
[Sunday, October 18, 2015]
 

So clearly explained. Thorough and yet concise! Makes it so easy to read and absorb the content.

Posted By:
Jack Hillsamer
[Sunday, October 18, 2015]
 

Great article. Easy to understand. Written well.

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