Prittle Prattle News in conversation with Dr. Anuradha H K, Consultant, Neurology, Aster CMI Hospital
a. What is Alzheimer’s Disease, and how does it impact brain functions, especially memory?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder characterized by changes that lead to protein deposits, brain shrinkage, and the eventual death of brain cells. It is the primary cause of dementia, resulting in a gradual decline in memory, thinking, behavior, and social skills, significantly affecting a person’s ability to function.
b. What are the initial symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?
Memory loss is the key initial symptom, manifesting as difficulty in recalling recent events or conversations. As the disease progresses, memory problems worsen, and other symptoms like challenges in thinking and reasoning, personality and behavior changes become evident.
Early Warning Signs
a. Can you elaborate on the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?
Early warning signs encompass forgetting recent events or conversations, progressing to serious memory problems and an inability to perform everyday tasks. Other signs include depression, loss of interest in activities, social withdrawal, mood swings, distrust in others, anger or aggression, changes in sleeping habits, wandering, loss of inhibitions, and delusions.
b. How can these early signs be recognized, especially by family members or caregivers?
Family members and caregivers should be vigilant for signs of depression, loss of interest in activities, social withdrawal, mood swings, and other behavioral changes. Consultation with a specialist is advised when such signs are observed.
The Importance of Early Detection
a. Why is it crucial to detect Alzheimer’s Disease early?
Early detection facilitates timely access to services and support, enabling individuals to manage the condition, live independently, and maintain a good quality of life. It empowers individuals to plan for the future and make their wishes known to family members regarding legal, financial, and care options.
b. How does early detection influence the course of the disease and the effectiveness of interventions?
Early diagnosis allows access to available treatments that may improve cognition and enhance the quality of life. Moreover, individuals can actively participate in planning their legal, financial, and future support/care options and make their preferences known to family members.
a. What lifestyle choices and habits can help in preventing Alzheimer’s Disease?
Several lifestyle choices and habits aid in Alzheimer’s prevention, including managing high blood pressure and blood sugar, maintaining a healthy weight, regular physical activity, quitting smoking, moderate alcohol consumption, hearing loss prevention, and sufficient sleep.
b. How effective are these preventive measures based on research or studies?
Studies strongly support the effectiveness of key lifestyle changes, such as regular physical activity and maintaining good health, in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Consulting a Doctor
a. When should someone consider consulting a doctor for potential Alzheimer’s symptoms?
Consultation with a primary care physician is warranted upon noticing early warning signs, including disruptive memory loss, difficulty completing familiar tasks, and misplacing items frequently.
b. What are the common diagnostic tests or screenings for Alzheimer’s Disease?
Diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s Disease include medical history analysis, depression screening, physical examination, brain imaging, neurological examination, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tests, cognitive, functional, and behavioral tests, and blood tests.