Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking skills, and the ability to carry out everyday tasks. This chronic neurodegenerative disease the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. A mind-blowing statistics by Texas Health and Human Services demonstrated that approximately 5.8 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2019.
Most symptoms of this irreversible disease appear when people are in their mid-60s. The most common symptom of Alzheimer’s is memory problems. Some people with issues with their memory often have a condition called mild cognitive impairment which results in more frequent incidences of forgetfulness, but does not affect daily function.
As Alzheimer’s disease advances, many people experience more memory loss and difficulty in thinking or performing daily activities. They may repeat what they already said or have abrupt changes in personality and behavior. When the disease gets to the severe stage, people have a hard time functioning: patients suffer from hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. People with severe Alzheimer’s are mostly bedridden and are completely dependent on others.
The effects of Alzheimer’s disease are alarming and should be researched thoroughly. Countless researches have been conducted to detect Alzheimer’s in its early stages. As more people get the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, it becomes crucial for researchers to find solutions. For example biomarkers are biological signs in images of the brain that can recognize people with mild cognitive impairment as well as those who are at risk. Brain imaging and neuroimaging can also detect Alzheimer’s; it provides structural information about the shape, position, and volume of the brain.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Regular physical exercise may be a beneficial strategy to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Exercise may directly benefit brain cells by increasing blood and oxygen flow in the brain.” Exercising has many medical benefits and can prevent Alzheimer’s to an extent. Diets like the Meditteranean and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension emphasizes patients to consume fruits, vegetables, fat-free, and low-fat products. It is important to eat healthy foods that can reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer’s and other memory affecting diseases.
Even though there is a slight chance of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there can be medical breakthroughs to stop progression of the disease. Researchers and scientists have currently found many drugs that can possibly prevent the disease from occuring. Foods like walnuts and green tea are not only known for preventing the disease, but also for delaying the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. In the near future, many more types of treatment and medicine are waiting to be found.
Rachel Lee, Grade 10
The Science Academy