Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects nerve cells, causing difficulty in thinking and forgetting.
Research carried out by the University of Utah, in the United States, and published in March 2019, revealed that having distant relatives with Alzheimer’s disease may also indicate a greater chance of developing it.
Compared to people who do not have a family history, the risk of developing the disease is:
- Doubled : when the disease has already manifested itself in a first-degree relative (parents or siblings) and in a second-degree relative (grandparents, uncles);
- 21 times higher : if the disease manifests itself in a first-degree relative and in two second-degree relatives;
- 73% higher : if you are the child of patients with the syndrome (sick father and mother);
- 25% higher : if you have two second-degree relatives in this condition, but no first-degree relatives.
Is it possible to prevent Alzheimer’s?
It is not yet known what causes Alzheimer’s, but some risk factors can be avoided, thus decreasing the chances of the disease developing:
- Stop smoking : smoking has already been associated with the development of the disease, so it is best to stay away from cigarettes;
- Keep your brain active : reading and games that stimulate memory and logical reasoning are good examples of mental gymnastics;
- Take care of your sleep : sleep at regulated times and for at least 6 straight hours;
- Do physical exercise : sports can decrease the production of amyloid protein in the brain and consequently delay Alzheimer’s.
How to recognize and deal with the symptoms?
Alzheimer’s has certain characteristic symptoms and requires some care from family members or close people. Find out how to act according to each situation:
Loss of attention or concentration
It may happen that the patient starts a sentence and does not finish it, for example. Maintaining eye contact, remembering the last words and speaking slowly facilitates communication.
Disorientation of space / time
Sometimes, the patient is unable to estimate the time, date and location. Date clocks combined with written routines can help. Preventing the patient from leaving alone is also recommended.
Insomnia and wandering
It is very common for people with Alzheimer’s to have difficulty sleeping and prefer to wander aimlessly through the house where they live.
Therefore, it is important to avoid carpets and objects on which he may be injured. Ideally, there should be a guardian at all times that the patient is awake.
Delusions and hallucinations
Many elderly people, especially in more aggravated phases, can hear and see people, objects and animals that do not exist. Some also think that they are being persecuted or that they want to harm you.
In these situations, the correct thing is to try to explain to the person what is really happening and never to argue about what he sees, hears or perceives.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can progressively manifest. If you are suspicious, see a doctor. Neurologists and geriatricians are the experts recommended to treat the condition.