New Delhi: Every year September 21 is observed as World Alzheimer’s Day around the globe. This initiative by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), takes place to raise awareness about the disease. Named after Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist, Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurological disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. According to World Health Organization (WHO), Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60-70 percent of cases. The condition worsens in three states from mild to moderate to severe, with memory loss as a key symptom. In the case of Alzheimer’s, memory worsens, and everyday functioning can be affected.
Anyone can suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, but people of certain age groups such as those above 65 years and those with a family history of the condition are more prone to the disease. It is not a typical sign of aging. However, Alzheimer’s symptoms are sometimes confused with signs of aging and can lead to a late diagnosis of the disease. The progression of the disease also varies from person to person. Some might have mild Alzheimer’s for a long period, while others might rapidly progress into severe Alzheimer’s conditions.
Risk factors such as elderly age and family history of the condition, don’t mean that one will develop Alzheimer’s disease. It only raises the risk level. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding smoking and drinking, and maintaining health parameters such as blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc within normal limits can be helpful to prevent the disease. Till now, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s however with medications and treatment the progression can be reduced. People need to be aware and educated about the condition, its stages, and its symptoms, to support and help those in need.