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Saturday, September 21, 2013

September 21 World Alzheimer’s Day

Alzheimer’s is a condition which affects the cognitive abilities of the people by impinging on their memories and thinking process. Though initially there is only some lapse in memory retention; in later stages the condition will affect the daily routine of not only the person going through Alzheimer’s but also their care takers to a great extent.  Worldwide more than 26 million people are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and the number is increasing every year.
There is no cure for this genetic disorder for time being; thus it has to be accepted and dealt with the best a person can give, which becomes more difficult as the disease progresses. Being aware of the symptoms and identification of the disease in the earlier stages will help the people involved to take the necessary precautionary steps to manage the disease effectively.  Here are the ten most significant signs and symptoms that indicates onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Loss of memory
The state of forgetting things like dates, important events or names is the early sign of the disease affecting brain functions. The person may be able to recall the dates or events later. As the disease progresses the person may not be able to recall the information anymore. They often forget commonly used words like comb and may substitute it with words which may not make sense.
Inability to solve problems or make plans
Alzheimer’s disease affects the problem solving and plan making ability of the person. People with Alzheimer’s find it very tough to handle numbers and do mathematical calculations. They abstract thinking will be affected greatly.
Difficulty handling everyday routine
Alzheimer’s disease will show its effect on everyday routines when the patients slowly lose track of the steps involved in preparing the dish they have been doing since ages, important telephone numbers, and procedure for recording programs or rules of playing games.
Confusion regarding dates and places
During the middle stages of the progress of the disease, patients may suddenly find confusion regarding where they are, which day it is or how much time has been passed. They can get easily lost in their own neighborhood or places they are very familiar with. They will have no idea how to get back home all of sudden, though they have been doing it for a long time.
Trouble with chromatic vision and spatial relationship
As Alzheimer’s disease affects the chromatic vision, patients will find difficulty in recognizing colors and pictures. They also find it tough to determine the distance and spatial relationship of an object. With progression they may not recognize their own reflection in the mirror and may think it is some other person in the room.
Difficulty speaking and spelling words
People with Alzheimer’s face problem when they have to join a conversation or follow instructions. They may be at loss of words all of sudden in middle of a discussion and may repeat themselves often. They start messing up with their spellings as well.
Poor or declining Judgment
Patients with Alzheimer’s often end up paying more money while shopping as they cannot judge rightly. They make poor choice of clothing to wear and often wear warm clothes on a sunny day and scanty clothing for the cool evening. They may not groom themselves and maintain hygiene.
Withdrawing into isolation
As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer’s may withdraw from their work, hobbies, social circle and sports which they enjoyed a lot in the past. They find it tough to make decisions and communicate with people.
Misplacing things
Often the patients misplace their things in places where no one would look for them. Their glasses can be found in refrigerator or books in micro oven. In addition they cannot retrace their steps adding to the frustration. At times they feel that someone may have stolen their things and become agitated.
Changes in personality

Personality of the people suffering from Alzheimer will undergo remarkable changes with passing of time. Rapid moods swings will have everyone around them baffled as they may jump from one extremity to other. A person who was just calm and happy a moment ago may burst into tears or show hostility for no visible reason. The person who was confident and self assured may suddenly become confused, fearful, and suspicious. An independent person may start depending on someone for support. Once very active person will now become passive with no activities, mindlessly watching television and sleeping excessively. 

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