Many doctor’s point to environmental and genetic factors as probable causes for Alzheimer’s Disease

“People think it’s a terrible tragedy when somebody has Alzheimer’s. But in my mother’s case, it’s different. My mother has been unhappy all her life. For the first time in her life, she’s happy.” These thoughts of noted American writer Amy Tan, whose mother was diagnosed of Alzheimer’s, aptly underlines the need to have a positive attitude to the disease.

On the occasion of World Alzheimer’s Day on Friday, neurologists maintain that living a fun-filled and fulfilling life with friends and family and avoiding stress in midlife are the best bets to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). The exact reasons for Alzheimer’s are yet to be fully understood and many doctor’s point to environmental and genetic factors as the probable causes for it.

“Alzheimer’s directly impacts the brain tissues, causing dementia or memory loss. Sometimes, such persons are unable to judge, function and behave normally. The ailment can be managed if care givers and patients follow guidelines of neurologists properly,” says HOD, Neurology, Yashoda Hospitals, Jaydeep Ray Choudhary.

Public often tend to mix up dementia with AD. Physicians point out that dementia or memory loss can be due to many reasons and Alzheimer’s happens to be one of the reasons that causes dementia.

“In a decade, AD will become a leading ailment that will put a high burden on the family and the society. Treatment and rehabilitation is a complex process and guidance is necessary. Medicines are available to delay the progression of AD and not to cure it,” Dr. Choudhary points out.

Precautions

Some of the precautionary measures for the ailment include avoiding or controlling risk factors like hypertension, diabetes, stroke and high stress in midlife. “AD is very common among persons who are above 40 years of age.

So, it is always better that middle aged persons avoid stressful lifestyle and make sure that they keep their mental and physical faculties alert by taking up regular activities,” HOD, Neurology, Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), A. K. Meena said.

AD is characterised by memory loss and patients progressively become dependant on others for day to day activities like using toilets, bathing, eating, dressing among other things.

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