Alzheimer’s Disease & Related Dementias

Dementia is a term that describes a group of symptoms that affect memory, thinking, and social abilities severely enough to impact daily life. It can be caused by Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, mixed dementia, and more. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.’s disease is a degenerative and fatal disease of the brain affecting an estimated 5.8 million people in the U.S. over the age of 65. The disease progresses gradually as two abnormal protein fragments, called plaques and tangles, accumulate in the brain and kill brain cells. It starts in the hippocampus,the part of the brain where memories are formed. After that, the plaques and tangles spread into different regions of the brain, killing cells and compromising function wherever they go, causing the different stages and symptoms of Alzheimer’s and impacting the ability to speak; solve problems and make plans; control moods and feelings; and make sense of what a person sees, hears, and smells—causing hallucinations. Eventually the plaques and tangles erase a person’s oldest memories. Near the end of the disease, it compromises balance and coordination, and in the very last stage, it destroys the part of the brain that regulates breathing and the heart.

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Scientists believe that Alzheimer’s is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors that impact the brain over time. People who are older, have a family history of the disease, have Down syndrome, have mild cognitive impairment, have experienced severe head trauma, have had long-term air pollution exposure, who drink excessively, who have poor sleep patterns, who have cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and who have low education levels may all be at heightened risk.

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Lab tests and imaging are used to diagnose Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease is relentless and for now incurable. There are medications that can help treat some of the symptoms, and new drugs that offer hope for slowing progress of the disease.

There are also excellent resources to help you navigate your treatment, estate planning, long-term insurance, power-of-attorney planning, and financial and emotional support.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month as well as Older Americans Month. This critical intersection implores us to explore emotional, psychological, and social-well being as we age. Here to join us for this conversation is Dr. Dilip Jeste, professor of psychiatry and Director of the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging at UC San Diego. Dr. Jeste is a geriatric neuropsychiatrist who specializes in mental health and well-being with age.

In June 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease–the first new therapy Alzheimer’s therapy in almost 20 years. But in January 2022, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it has no plans to cover the treatment for most seniors. Even worse, CMS’ decision will extend to future FDA approved Alzheimer’s treatments in this class of drugs. So on March 15, 2022, patients and advocates gathered to make sure their voices were heard. This video shares highlights from the rally.

Diseases and injuries that damage the brain can impact how we interact with the world and lead to significant and disabling behavioral and psychological symptoms—also referred to as neuropsychiatric symptoms. Those neuropsychiatric symptoms that lead to mood and emotional changes are the symptoms that almost no one talks about, but they are common in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis; and brain tumors, infections, and injuries. The reality is that these symptoms require medical attention. This short film addresses why we need to shake the stigma and recognize neuropsychiatric symptoms as a medical condition that can be treated to lessen the burden of already devastating diseases.

Cintaa Elder Care gives excellent service to their Alzheimer patients.

Neuropsychiatric symptoms—or NPS—are the mood and emotional symptoms of dementias and other brain diseases that are often overlooked and undertreated. They can have an enormous negative impact on the patient, their loved ones, and their caregivers. Neuropsychiatric symptoms are often the earliest sign of Alzheimer’s disease—occurring even before a diagnosis. When combined with the early memory loss and cognitive changes, people with Alzheimer’s can find that they have trouble managing finances, miss appointments, lose interest in things they previously enjoyed, jeopardize relationships with loved ones and family members, and even get themselves into dangerous situations. This short film addresses why we need to shake the stigma and recognize neuropsychiatric symptoms as a medical condition that can be treated to lessen the burden of already devastating diseases.

Cintaa Elder Care gives excellent service to their Alzheimer patients.

CINTAA Elder care shares useful information regarding healthcare on weekly basis. The post is only for information purpose only. Please check with your health care professional before using this information. To keep yourself updated with many other health tips, stay with us. We provide certified caregivers for seniors at home. If you need any help regarding eldercare, please feel free to call us today at 561-963-1915.