A 2022 Overview of Alzheimer’s Disease and What You Can Do to Preserve Your Memories
Preserve the PAST; guide the FUTURE!
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that leads to memory loss and cognitive decline, meaning it slowly destroys memories and thinking skills. It is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of all cases.
Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the buildup of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain, which leads to cell death and neuronal loss. The disease progresses slowly, and symptoms typically begin to appear in people over the age of 60. Early-stage symptoms include memory loss, difficulty performing tasks, and changes in mood and behavior. As the disease progresses, symptoms become more severe, eventually leading to total dementia.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but treatments can help to manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias have catastrophic health, economic, and social impact and these impacts are rapidly growing. The statistics surrounding Alzheimer’s disease are staggering.
Statistics of Alzheimer’s
- Approximately 5.7 million people in the U.S. currently have Alzheimer’s disease.
- The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s is projected to triple to 16 million by 2050.
- Someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds. By 2050 this is projected to be every 33 seconds.
- Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age: 200,000 people under age 65have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease; with the youngest patient being 23 years young.
- Worldwide about 50 million people have some form of dementia, and someone in the world develops dementia every three seconds.
- If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s, your chance of developing this disease increases to 30%.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death among all ages in the United States with a 5% increase in the number of deaths in the US from 2015 to 2016. For those 65 and older, it is the fifth-leading cause of death. Death rates for Alzheimer’s disease are increasing, unlike heart disease and cancer death rates that are on the decline.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
There are several symptoms that may be indicative of Alzheimer’s disease. These can include:
- Memory loss, especially forgetfulness concerning recent events
- Difficulty with complex tasks or planning
- Confusion and disorientation, particularly in new or unfamiliar surroundings
- Changes in behavior, such as increased irritability or aggression
- Loss of interest in hobbies or previous interests
- Withdrawing from social activities
- Slower speech and thinking processes
Alzheimer’s disease typically progresses slowly, with symptoms gradually worsening over time. The rate of progression can differ from one individual to the next, however, and some people may experience a sudden worsening of symptoms (known as rapid onset). In its early stages, Alzheimer’s disease may cause only mild symptoms, which can be easily missed. As the disease progresses, however, it becomes increasingly difficult to ignore the effects. Ultimately, Alzheimer’s disease can lead to severe cognitive decline and a loss of the ability to carry out even the most basic tasks of daily living.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor for a diagnosis. Early detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease can help to slow the progression of the condition and improve your quality of life.
There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but treatments are available to help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Early diagnosis and intervention can make a tremendous difference in managing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Treatment addresses several areas: helping people maintain brain health, managing behavioral symptoms, and slowing or delaying symptoms of the disease.
While there is no sure way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there are things you can do that may help reduce your risk. The best way to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease is to live a healthy lifestyle. This includes exercise, a diet rich in vegetables and fruit, social engagement, and mentally stimulating activities. These things have all been linked with lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Document Your Memories
As you age, your memories start to fade, and it can be hard for loved ones who are trying their best as caregivers. Guiding Light safeguards your memories from dementia by providing users with a platform to document their memories, guidance, traditions, and advice. With Guiding Light’s platform, we’ll guide them in creating a digital footprint of themselves, so they never lose another memory.
Let us help you keep your brain health intact while also documenting what has made your family unique. Don’t let this disease rob you of another memory, join the Guiding Light family today.