Today is World Alzheimer’s Day, and we want to spread awareness about the disease. The number of people with Alzheimer’s is growing.
As many as 1.6 million elderly people in India are suffering from Alzheimer’s. The number is expected to triple by 2050
It is a debilitating disease where the patient has to deal with a slowly fading memory.
Women in India have a higher life expectancy than men. They are expected to bear the worst impact of the disease. They spend more years in ill health and disability
Here are some things to know about Alzheimer’s:
If you are a woman, you are at a higher risk to get the disease.
It is a form of dementia which affects memory, behaviour and thinking. Patients start with forgetting small things like the day of the week, car keys, appointments.
As the disease progresses, it becomes difficult for patients to move and even swallow food.
Alzheimer’s is genetic. It is also influenced by one’s lifestyle, and environment. Younger people can get Alzheimer’s and this is due to genetics. Exercising reduces risk of Alzheimer’s. Healthy eating, and doing puzzles and crosswords also reduces risk. People who did not go to school are more at risk.
Early symptoms include the patient not finding the right words, difficulty reading text, and memory loss.
There is no cure for the disease. There is no drug that can be taken to stop its progress. There are lots of clinical research trials to try and find a cure for it.
Early detection helps
Early detection matters. If you do see symptoms, do not deny or brush them aside. Starting treatment early helps the patient emotionally and physically.
If you are a caregiver, try joining a support group.