Thousands of Nigerians live with Alzheimer’s Disease, and a good percentage of them are undiagnosed. You’ve probably heard people say Alzheimer’s is the same thing as dementia. This isn’t true. Yes, Alzheimer’s and dementia are related, but it’s only because Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. 

A few facts

  1. Alzheimer’s isn’t a result of ageing. It’s actually a disease.
  2. Anyone can get the disease, but it’s more common in people above 65 and people with family histories of Alzheimer’s.
  3. The symptoms start slow, and worsen with time.
  4. Doctors can look at symptoms and conclude a person has Alzheimer’s, but can never be sure until after a person dies and they look at their brain. 
  5. People experience the disease differently. Some live longer, with little cognitive damage, while others experience a quick onset of symptoms and rapid disease progression.

What does having Alzheimer’s look like?

You might forget things a lot, but it doesn’t mean you have Alzheimer’s. These are the major symptoms people with Alzheimer’s show:

  1. Memory loss. This gets worse over time. 
  2. Trouble doing simple tasks, like turning on a gas cooker
  3. Inability to solve simple daily problems 
  4. Trouble with speech or writing
  5. Becoming disoriented about time and places
  6. Mood swings and withdrawal from friends and family
  7. Poor personal hygiene

How can you prevent Alzheimer’s?

Because scientists haven’t put a pin on the exact cause of the disease, it’s difficult to say how to prevent it. But here’s what they recommend: 

  1. Protect your head: Avoid activities and sports that put your head at risk of being hit. Constant head trauma could lead to Alzheimer’s.
  2. Keep your brain challenged: Apparently, people who remain intellectually and socially active are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Learn something new, read a book, go out. 
  3. Stop smoking, and reduce alcohol.
  4. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetable, and less red meat.
  5. Exercise.
  6. Go for regular checkups.

Could you be at risk of having Alzheimer’s?

Again, experts don’t know the specific cause of Alzheimer’s, but they advise people to be watchful and talk to their doctors if:

  1. They’re above 65
  2. They have a family history of Alzheimer’s
  3. They smoke
  4. They have depression 
  5. They have a cardiovascular disease
  6. They’ve had a traumatic head injury

Alzheimer’s is in stages

According to experts, these are the stages someone with Alzheimer’s will go through. 

Source: Healthline

Is Alzheimer’s treatable?

There’s no specific treatment for Alzheimer’s, but doctors prescribe medications to slow the progression of its stages. People with Alzheimer’s need a lot of love and care around them. 

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