What is it?

Alzheimer's disease is the most common dementia (memory and thinking disorder). It is a progressive disease (worsens over time) that begins with a slight memory loss, and progresses to the loss of communication abilities and significant impairment in personal and interpersonal functioning. Early onset Alzheimer's disease appears before the age of 65, most commonly is the 40s-50s. It is thought to be involved with the buildup of two proteins in the brain- tau and amyloid. Being diagnosed in an early age is usually shocking and changes the person's plans for life.

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Signs & symptoms

Early onset Alzheimer's disease, like the late onset, begins with mild symptoms, which worsen over time. A person with Alzheimer's disease forgets details and feels confused. There may be language difficulties (e.g., difficulty retrieving a word from memory), difficulties with attention and concentration, and impaired thinking (also called cognitive impairment). Everyday tasks can become challenging. In more advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease, behavioral changes may appear, such as outbursts of anger, aggression, and hallucinations.


On suspicion of Alzheimer's disease, the doctor will perform a neurological examination as well as tests aimed at assessing the existence and severity of dementia, such as memory tests and comprehension tests. In some cases, a brain imaging test will be performed, such as an MRI, which may help to distinguish between Alzheimer's and other types of dementia. In some cases, a test called a lumbar puncture will be performed (a sample of spinal fluid).


Treatment for Alzheimer's has several goals: maintaining cognition and proper functioning, reducing symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease.
Important component in the treatment of Alzheimer's is to create a safe life routine for the patient:
- In some cases, the patient himself is not aware of his illness or its severity, and he will need supervision or help in managing his daily routine. Often the burden of care is on the family members, and it is important to remember that they too will need personal and professional support in fulfilling this complex role.
- Actions that may become dangerous (for example driving and cooking) should be reduced or avoided, if possible.
- Adherence to physical activity can reduce restlessness and anxiety, and contribute to sleep quality and overall health.
- Maintaining a daily routine anchored in regular tasks may help create an active routine.
Alzheimer's disease has no cure, but there are medications that are used to slow the progression of the disease and improve symptoms such as Donezepil, Galantamine and Memantine.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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