There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s however there are medications given to slow progress. Other support is therefore needed as well as medications; look out for further Lent prompts for more information.
Anti chlorintase inhibitors (AcHe inhibitors). These stop chlorintrase in the brain being broken down by enzymes and this means there is more chlorintease in the brain. Having more chlorintease is good because it helps send messages between cells in the brain.
There are three medications, different ones suit different people. The three are rivastigmine, donepezil and galantsmide.
This drug stops glutamate rising to toxic levels which can kill brain cells.
As mentioned as there are 100s of different types of dementia the most common type is Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is caused by the death of brain tissue due to tangled and plaques forming and also there is a reduction in the chemicals that transmit messages around the brain.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, which means the symptoms become worse over time. Alzheimer’s first affects the hippocampus which has a central role in short term memories this makes it difficult for those with Alziemer’s to remember recent events and learn new information. Therefore those with Alzheimer’s may lose things, in conversations struggle to find right word or people’s names, forget appointments and get lost in familiar places. As the condition progresses getting lost becomes more common, there is increased problems with speech such as repeating phrases and not remembering words and increased visuspatial problems with tasks like parking.
It’s possible to live an independent and active life with dementia – there are many people in the UK and across the world who are facing dementia head on and developing support mechanisms and strategies to live well with the condition. That includes anything from taking up new hobbies to making new friends or taking part in research.
Therefore it is better to talk about living with rather than suffering from dementia.
Dementia is not an inevitable part of getting older – while it’s true that the majority of people with dementia are over 65, the condition is not a normal part of getting older. The likelihood of developing dementia rises with age, but it’s not a given that an older person will develop it.
Dementia is often thought of as a condition of the older population however, it can affect 30-65years olds (around 5% of people in the UK diagnosed with dementia are 30-65). Amongst under 65s with dementia it is more common in those with an existing learning disability.
There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will soar to 2 million by 2051.
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating and planning for example following recipes.
- Communication problems such as struggling to find right words and difficulty interpreted what is being said.
- Confusion regarding times and places.
- Visual and spatial awareness causing problems like feeling unsteady walking and difficulties parking.
- Mood changes like being emotional, apathy (loss of interest) and lowered self confidence.
1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia.