It is one of the most agonizing and frustrating disease that causes untold suffering not only for the person affected, but also the caregivers and loved ones. The fact that a near relative has it puts you at high risk – maybe not immediately, but at some stage in your life. Living with it is not an easy task. The condition I am talking about is Alzheimer’s Disease or commonly known as AD.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away (degenerate) and die. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia — A continuous decline in thinking, behavioural and social skills that disrupts a person’s ability to function independently.
Scientists believe that for most people, Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time. Increasing age is the greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is not a part of normal aging, but as you grow older the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease increases. Your risk of developing Alzheimer’s is somewhat higher if a first-degree relative — your parent or sibling — has the disease.
Most genetic mechanisms of Alzheimer’s among families remain largely unexplained, and the genetic factors are likely complex. Less than one per cent of the time, Alzheimer’s is caused by specific genetic changes that virtually guarantee a person will develop the disease. These rare occurrences usually result in disease onset in middle age.
There appears to be little difference in risk between men and women, but, overall, there are more women with the disease because they generally live longer than men. People who have had a severe head trauma have a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Research has shown that poor sleep patterns, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The early signs of the disease may be forgetting recent events or conversations. As the disease progresses, a person with Alzheimer’s disease will develop severe memory impairment and lose the ability to carry out everyday tasks. The exact causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not fully understood, but at its core are problems with brain proteins that fail to function normally, disrupt the work of brain cells (neurons) and unleash a series of toxic events. Neurons are damaged, lose connections to each other and eventually die.
The damage most often starts in the region of the brain that controls memory, but the process begins years before the first symptoms starts showing. The loss of neurons spreads in a somewhat predictable pattern to other regions of the brains. And by the time the disease reaches the final stage, the brain starts shrinking significantly.
Memory and language loss, impaired judgment, and other cognitive changes caused by Alzheimer’s can complicate treatment for other health conditions.
A person with Alzheimer’s disease may not be able to:
· Communicate that he or she is experiencing pain — For example, from a dental problem
· Report symptoms of another illness
· Follow a prescribed treatment plan
· Notice or describe medication side effects
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses to its last stages, brain changes begin to affect physical functions, such as swallowing, balance, bowel and bladder control.
These effects can increase vulnerability to additional health problems such as:
· Inhaling food or liquid into the lungs (aspiration)
· Pneumonia and other infections
· Malnutrition or dehydration
Brain changes that occur in Alzheimer’s disease can affect moods and behaviours. Problems may include the following:
· Social withdrawal
· Mood swings
· Distrust in others
· Irritability and aggressiveness
· Changes in sleeping habits
· Loss of inhibitions
· Delusions, such as believing something has been stolen
There is no treatment that cures Alzheimer’s disease or alters the disease process in the brain. In advanced stages of the disease, complications from severe loss of brain function — such as dehydration, malnutrition, or infection — result in death.
Alzheimer’s disease is not a preventable condition. However, several lifestyle risk factors for Alzheimer’s can be modified. Changes in diet, exercise and habits that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease may also lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders that cause dementia.
To reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s it is recommended that one should:
· Exercise regularly
· Eat a diet of fresh produce, healthy oils, and foods low in saturated fat
· Follow treatment guidelines to manage high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol
· Quit smoking
· Participate in social events, reading, dancing, playing board games, creating art, playing an instrument, and other activities that require mental and social engagement.
Many important skills are preserved for longer periods even while symptoms worsen. Preserved skills may include reading or listening to books, telling stories and reminiscing, singing, listening to music, dancing, drawing, or doing crafts. These skills may be preserved longer because they are controlled by parts of the brain affected later in the course of the disease.
Current Alzheimer’s disease medications may temporarily improve symptoms or slow the rate of decline. These treatments can sometimes help people with Alzheimer’s disease maximize function and maintain independence for a time.
Everyone suffers some degree of memory loss, and before you hit the panic button, not all of it is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It is good to consult a doctor when the occurrence is rather frequent, or it is brought to your attention that you portray some of the symptoms stated above. It is my suggestion you try some of these holistic techniques for a period of 30 to 60 days, which may help correct the imbalance that you may experience saving you from anxiety and self-doubt. But if your family has members suffering from AD, it may certainly be a good idea to get a proper check up done.
Late Dr. R Voll a professional from from West Germany did research on acupuncture treatment and discovered an amazing and effective treatment known as electro acupuncture treatment. We believe that his research will be a blessing for mankind. He has discovered new nine meridians in addition to 14 meridians practiced earlier.
Patients suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease or persons experiencing the early symptoms of the disease can paste Byol magnets with its white side touching the adhesive tape on point ND 3 on metacarpal bones of left and right hands, as shown in the figure given below. Change the tape every day and keep the magnets pasted daily for 16 hours.