September is World Alzheimer’s month. So far this month we have already looked at the facts about Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s currently has no cure. However, there are measures we can take to lower our risk of developing the condition and to slow the progression of the disease. Early diagnosis is key to getting Alzheimer’s disease under control and to limiting the damage caused by the disease. Case studies show that treatment, such as stem cell application, for Alzheimer’s disease is more effective when performed early on.
Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult to diagnose, as each individual patient has different symptoms. This is because the networks within our brains are unique to us, so we will all react differently to any changes that happen in the brain. There are also several Alzheimer’s symptoms that are also signs of other conditions.
By learning the symptoms of the disease you may be able to help someone to get an early diagnosis. That someone could be a grandparent, parent, or friend. It could even be you. Here some of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:
- Memory loss that interferes with daily activities. This is one of the most frequently seen symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s sufferers often have a poor memory, especially short term memory. They can forget important dates (family birthdays, anniversaries, etc) or ask the same questions repeatedly. This is not the same as forgetting something then remembering it later, which is a common age-related challenge!
- Difficulties problem solving and planning. Some people with Alzheimer’s may struggle to create a plan and problem solve. This could be anything from planning a day’s activities, paying bills, cooking a recipe that they used to know, or completing a crossword puzzle. You may notice that it takes longer than normal to do something than before. This difficulty to problem solve can overlap into day to day activities too; tasks that used to be mundane and done almost without thinking may suddenly become a challenge. This could include travelling to a frequently visited location, or remembering how to use household items (like the TV or washing machine).
- Losing track of time or place. It is not uncommon for people with Alzheimer’s to forget where they are and how they got to that location, the date, season or year. This isn’t the same as occasionally forgetting the date, or day of the week, which is common in even the healthiest of people.
- Struggling with spoken or written words. It may be difficult for someone with Alzheimer’s to follow or join in with a conversation. They may repeat themselves a lot, or lose track of the conversation. Sometimes, those with Alzheimer’s can “lose” words or call an object by the wrong name. This is different to occasionally forgetting the right word for something but remembering it later; in patients with Alzheimer’s they lose the ability to access some words.
- Losing things. We all lose things sometimes, and we all know how annoying it is to lose things. But normally we are able to retrace our steps to see where an object might have been left or misplaced. People with Alzheimer’s may lose items and not have the ability to go back over their recent actions to trace the lost item; they may even accuse others of stealing the missing object.
- Mood swings. It is not uncommon for people with Alzheimer’s to suffer from mood swings. They can be happy one minute and scared, anxious, depressed, angry or suspicious the next. They may panic when they are in situations that they don’t feel in control of, or where they are not entirely at ease and comfortable.
If you or someone you love displays any of the above symptoms, it is important that you consult a medical professional as soon as possible. It is very possible that there is nothing at all wrong, but if it is the early onset of Alzheimer’s, every day counts; the earlier diagnosis, the more effective the treatment. It will also give you more time to look at the different treatment options available, to get support for you, your family and the people around you, and to make plans for the future.
At Stem Cell Application Mexico we introduce new stem cells into the body. These stem cells are programmed to go anywhere in the body that is damaged or malfunctioning, such as the brain for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other neurodegenerative conditions, such as Parkinson’s. These stem cells go to the damaged site and help to slow the progression of the disease, prevent further damage or even, in some cases, reverse existing damage.