Dementia is a progressive neurological disease which affects multiple brain functions, including memory. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. The cause for developing Alzheimer’s disease remains unknown, although an abnormal build-up of proteins in the brain— called amyloid protein and tau protein — leads to cell death. There are risk factors involved in developing the condition such as increasing age, a family history of the condition, previous severe head injuries as well as lifestyle factors and conditions associated with cardiovascular diseases.
Alzheimer’s disease is most common in people over the age of 65 and affects slightly more women than men. However, around 1 in every 20 cases of Alzheimer’s disease affects people aged 40 to 65.
Alzheimer’s disease impairs intellectual abilities and memory enough to interfere with daily life such as difficulty planning and solving problems, difficulty completing familiar tasks, difficulty determining time or place, vision loss, difficulty finding the right words, misplacing items often or difficulty making decisions.
The Neurology Department at Kings College Hospital in Dubai Hill offers a comprehensive approach to any patient suffering from memory impairment starting from taking a detailed clinical history to arranging tests used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease or to rule out other medical conditions that cause symptoms like Alzheimer’s disease. Investigations include – but are not limited to – blood tests, urine test, perform brain scans, such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify brain atrophy in addition to strokes, brain tumours and other structural damage that can cause symptoms like Alzheimer’s disease.
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, symptoms can often be treated, and the progression of the disease can be slowed. Current Alzheimer’s treatment options focus on prevention and addressing underlying issues affiliated with Alzheimer’s such as diabetes and heart disease treatment, cognitive training, and changes in diet and exercise.