November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
HEALTH People assume that it’s a normal part of aging. But it is not. According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain's nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes. Short-term memory fails when Alzheimer’s disease first destroys nerve cells in the hippocampus. Language skills and judgment decline when neurons die in the cerebral cortex.
Dementia is a broader term for a set of symptoms including impaired thinking and memory. Issues other than Alzheimer’s can cause dementia, like Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s
- Trouble finding the appropriate words, completing sentences, and following directions and conversations.
- Confusion about time and place.
- Changes in mood and personality, such as increased suspicion, rapid and persistent mood swings, withdrawal, and disinterest in usual activities.
- Difficulty with complex mental assignments, such as balancing a checkbook or other tasks involving numbers.
Treatment for Alzheimer’s
Obviously, we all occasionally forget things. So don’t panic over every ‘brain fart.’ However, for persistent and progressive symptoms, have an evaluation performed by a licensed healthcare provider to address any concerns.
According to The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, brain fart (may be jocularly derived from "brainstorm") is a slang expression which can refer to one of several experiences:
- Tip of the tongue phenomenon—temporary inability to recall a name or word
- A brief episode of absent-mindedness or inattention
- Human error or a mistake resulting from absent-mindedness or impulsivity
Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s but various drug therapies control symptoms. These may include donepezil hydrochloride (ARICEPT), galantamine hydrobromide (Razadyne), and/or memantine hydrochloride.
If you are a medical professional who treats Alzheimer’s patients, don’t forget to obtain the poster Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease from Store.ClinicalPosters today.