Fading Memories – September 21, World Alzheimer’s Day
Every September, people come together from worldwide to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that persists around dementia. September 2021 marks the 10th year of this vital global awareness-raising campaign.
The need of the hour is to develop an awareness of the disease, its early signs and sensitivity towards people suffering from it. The theme of this year’s campaign is
Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s’- Power of Information.
Under its social awareness campaigns and CSR events, SUBURB has also supported the cause of AD in the past and will keep doing so.
Alzheimer’s is associated with old age. In the past, there have been cases where early signs of the disease were diagnosed among people in their 30s. There are about four million people in India currently suffering from this disease, and the number is fast increasing.
The early warning signs of dementia must encourage people to seek support, information and guidance from doctors. Across the world, more so in countries like India, a much-needed awareness is crucial to challenge the stigma, myths that surround dementia. Dementia is a collective name for brain syndromes that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.
Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease
According to medical professionals and scientists, the actual causes in specific of Alzheimer’s disease are unknown. However, at a fundamental level, brain proteins malfunction, disrupting the work of brain cells (neurons) and triggering a cascade of harmful and highly toxic events. Neurons become damaged, lose their connections, and eventually die. The damage usually begins in the memory-controlling region of the brain, but the process can begin years before the first symptoms even start to appear.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s
Early symptoms of dementia can include memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, problems with language (not able to remember familiar words or names of close people ), driving on routine drive paths and changes in personality (frequent mood swings).
Forgetting recent events is one of the most typical indications of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stages. Others include forgetting important dates or activities, as well as repeatedly asking the same questions. There could be undiagnosed sleep disorders.
Other symptoms for the early onset of AD include difficulty following a recipe; speech may lose clarity, swallowing gets problematic. Frequently misplacing things without being able to retrace steps to find them is another indication.
If completing familiar chores is becoming difficult, time not to push it under the carpet.
Vision may get impacted in certain persons. Alzheimer’s patients may lose track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time. They may also have difficulty calculating distance and distinguishing colour or contrast, which can make driving difficult.
Lifestyle changes to best fight the disease
· Play puzzles, quiz, crossword, mental & memory games often.
· Eat mindfully. Include protein & healthy fat in your diet, making a place for green vegetables, whole grains, legumes, tofu and more.
· Keep a daily routine for exercise, meditation, or nature walks to lead a balanced life.
· Keep an eye on health numbers- BP, Sugar level, triglycerides & cholesterol.
There is a hereditary component to Alzheimer’s. People whose parents or siblings have the disease are at a slightly higher risk of developing the condition. However, we’re still a long way from understanding the genetic mutations that lead to the actual development of the disease.
· Alzheimer’s is curable. It is not. Early diagnosis better prognosis.
· Only the elderly can develop AD. People in their 30s & 40s can also have Alzheimer’s. Awareness is the best preventive medicine.
It is not simply a disease that may pass only from one to the next generation. · People with no family history of the disease may also get affected. Environmental factors, lifestyles patterns play a role as well. With the current robotic lifestyle of people, Alzheimer’s may not be far from you, so Wake Up!