CogniFit's Science blog: Alzheimer’s – A Difficult Disease

Alzheimer’s – A Difficult Disease

Alzheimer’s is a disease which has significant impacts on people and those who are close to them. It is a neurological disorder which results in changes to one’s memory, behaviors and cognitive thinking.

 Let’s discuss this difficult problem further and learn about some of its causes, symptoms and treatments.

It is not fully understood what causes Alzheimer’s and why it occurs in some people and not in others of the same age. However it is generally believed that genetics can play a significant role in the risk of someone developing the disease.

Alzheimer’s affects how the brain sends electrical signals from one brain cell to the next. This disruption in communication plays a significant role in overall cognitive function and eventually begins to kill off brain cells.

This is why over time, many areas of the brain become destroyed. The overall size of the brain therefore shrinks and mental capacity and function is greatly impacted.

The disease is particularly severe on the hippocampus area of the brain. This is the section of the brain which affects memory and is the reason why virtually all sufferers of this disease show significant memory loss.

Other areas of the brain which may be affected include the cortex which controls higher level thinking, organizing and emotion.

In the early stages of the disease, a person may begin to become more forgetful. But as the disease progresses, that person may forget family, friends and eventually themselves. They will also lose the ability to perform even simple tasks and take care of themselves.

There are some tests which a person can take to help to indicate if they are indeed suffering from the disease. If this is so, there is no known cure for the disease. However there are a number of treatments which have been found to have benefit at slowing the progression of the disease.

There are also a number of important brain training techniques which can challenge the brain and enhance many mental functions. These techniques help the brain to stay in shape and could help slow the progression of the disease.

It is also very important to make certain that the person receives proper nutrition and maintains a healthy diet. A number of important vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in the most effective mental functions.

There are many resources to help sufferers of this disease and their families. it is important to communicate with experts and other counselors in this field to stay up-to-date with the latest treatments and alternative solutions.