Alzheimer’s disease is a disorder in which protein deposits (plaques) collect in the brain, causing nerve cells (neurons) to degenerate and eventually die. This process leaves behind substances called tangles. As your nerve cells lose function, you’ll experience a steady loss of memory and other thinking abilities (cognitive skills) and gradually lose your independence.
- To diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, doctors evaluate your signs and symptoms and conduct several tests.
- Your primary doctor or a doctor trained in brain conditions (neurologist) will review your medical history, medication history and your symptoms
- Doctors may order additional laboratory tests, brain-imaging tests or send you for memory testing. These tests can provide doctors with useful information for diagnosis, including ruling out other diseases that cause similar symptoms.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that occurs when nerve cells in the brain die, often resulting in symptoms such as impaired memory, thinking and behavior.
The treatment may involve the following:psychology assessment, cognitive behavioural neurology aimed at addressing language, memory, thinking and problem solving issues, memory disorder therapy and cognitive rehabilitation therapy”
Five medications are currently used to treat the cognitive problems of AD: four are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (tacrine, rivastigmine, galantamine anddonepezil) and the other (memantine) is an NMDA receptor antagonist. The benefit from their use is small. No medication has been clearly shown to delay or halt the progression of the disease.
Psychosocial interventions are used as an adjunct to pharmaceutical treatment and can be classified within behaviour-, emotion-, cognition- or stimulation-oriented approaches. Research on efficacy is unavailable and rarely specific to AD, focusing instead on dementia in general. Behavioural interventions attempt to identify and reduce the antecedents and consequences of problem behaviours. This approach has not shown success in improving overall functioning, but can help to reduce some specific problem behaviours, such as incontinence. There is a lack of high quality data on the effectiveness of these techniques in other behaviour problems such as wandering