World Alzheimer's Day: Remembering the ones who can’t remember
In the 20th century, we are gifted with the blessings of a healthy lifestyle, thanks to the availability of resources we have to keep ourselves updated with the health facts, emerging technologies that pave the way for effective treatment and diagnosis that allow us to live beyond 60 years of age, but looking down the surface, it has some unwanted side effects as well. It is a fact that everything that is born has to be aged, the same goes with the body as well. Brain ages with detrimental effects on the functioning we enjoyed throughout adulthood but the pain begins at old age when everything becomes tough to handle, one falls prey to forgetfulness in forms like forgetting the way to home, doing important chores, etc. that is not characterized by normal aging. It is estimated that by the year 2020, approximately 70% of the world’s population aged 60 and above will be living in developing countries, with 14.2% in India. Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia that is characterized by progressive detrimental effects of brain tissue, is becoming more prevalent in current ages that every 4 in 1000 people have dementia in India and the numbers are predicted to be doubled in coming years. However, the disease is predicted at early onset in people who are in their mid-adulthood.
World Alzheimer's day is celebrated on 21st September every year to address the issues the victim of the disease goes through and of course the effective treatment and protocols that must be taken in order to uplift the quality of life. The disease is likely to hit those above the age of 65 years and it is studied to begin due to cell damage that begins 20 years before the onset of symptoms leading to death. The disease affects the areas of the brain that are involved in the process of learning, problem-solving and language areas which marks complications in dealing with the daily environment.
Dementia and Alzheimers are different diseases as Alzheimers is the most common form of dementia. Dementia has several other forms like Vascular dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies markedly deteriorating frontotemporal dementia. Not all dementia types are irreversible for that matter, drug induced dementia can be reversed , it is pivotal have regular health checkups , mental status test and brian checking are a must.
According to recent research, it has been inculcated that treating patients with a behavioral modification approach can make their lives easy and less distressing for the caregivers and the patients.
Dr. Akshay Sarode, an expert on the matter suggests that having a thorough knowledge about the symptoms of the disease, the stages underlying can make the treatment more effective.
Family members and caregivers must be well informed about the challenges associated with the disease as well. Unfortunately,” the lack of a permanent cure of the disease is not yet available,” says Veteran Neurologist Dr. Chandrashekhar Meshran. The early signs of dementia, which happens due to vitamin B12 deficiency or hypothyroidism can be predicted by having awareness of memory loss complaints at a young age in some adults dealing with undue stressful lifestyles. A healthy lifestyle is a prerequisite of keeping the diseases at a bay, but the nutrient-dense diet is pivotal to maintain a healthy brain and body, the diet must be balanced in lew of maintaining adequate sugar levels, reducing unhealthy fats including all forms of junk and aerated foods that must be avoided at all cost. Also, a list of unhealthy cooking oil includes sunflower oil, soybean oil, and rice bran oil.
Dr. Chandrashekhar also marks the important role of physical and mental exercises like doing regular workouts, having involved in new hobbies, having healthy social interaction, and abstinence from alcohol and drugs is crucial for overall wellbeing and preserving memory throughout a lifelong journey.