1. the brain responsible for processing language –

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1.       What is Alzheimer’s disease? Alzheimer’s disease is a slow, fatal neurodegenerative disorder affecting 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 and is the most common cause of Dementia.The disease has a gradual onset which begins as two abnormal protein fragments called amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles amass in the brain, destroying healthy brain cells.  They start in the part of the brain where memories are first formed – the Hippocampus. After many years, these plaques and tangles gradually defeat the purpose of the Hippocampus, resulting in difficulty of forming new memories. Simple reminiscence of events just a few hours or days back would be missing.  The plaques and tangles begin spreading to different parts of the brain, killing healthy brain cells along their way and severely impairing function. This spreading is what gives off the different stages of Alzheimer’s disease. From the Hippocampus, the disease spreads to the region of the brain responsible for processing language – also known as The Broca’s area. Finding the right words come with great effort at this stage. Next, the disease travels into the front of the brain – where logical thought takes place. Over time, the person loses the ability to grasp concepts, solve problems and make plans. From here, the disease creeps into the part of the brain where emotions are regulated. Slowly, the person becomes unable to control feelings and emotions like anger, fear and responding to pain and pleasure. Then, the disease invades the part of the brain that comprehends what is being seen, heard and smelt, causing a disaster on the person’s senses and could result in hallucinations.  Eventually, the disease moves to the back of the brain, eradicating a person’s oldest and most precious memories. The person won’t be able to remember the day he got married or the birthday of his first child or his first car. Alas, towards the end, the person’s brain functions are greatly impaired – including balance and coordination, finally compromising the part of the brain that regulates breathing and the heart. The disease is harsh and in this day and age, beyond cure.     2.    Why Alzheimer’s is most common type of Dementia? Dementia is a general term used to connote a person suffering with difficulties in memory, judgement and reasoning. Dementia can be caused by several diseases that affect the brain. The most common cause is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all cases of dementia.   People who suffer from dementia usually have memory loss and difficulty with at least either coherent speech or writing (or ability to comprehend what is said or written), ability to recognize known surroundings, or ability to plan and carry out multi-step tasks (as is seen in people with Alzheimer’s disease as well).    3.    What is the Psychiatrist role in managing Alzheimer’s? Alzheimer’s disease is not a mental illness, however, it can cause symptoms related to mental health, such as depression, anxiety, agitation, and hallucinations. If your loved one is having any of these symptoms, it may be helpful to have a psychiatric consult. The psychiatrist’s role begins with diagnosing, by performing several evaluations of: · Behaviour and appearance · Mood · Cognition (memory and thinking) · Thought processes and content (personal knowledge of time and place) · Body posture, eye contact, and speech (communication skills) · Physical functioning (sleep, appetite, and physical symptoms) · Insight and judgment (decision making) · Social skills (ability to relate to others and assessment of present relationships) Apart from performing extensive clinical assessments, psychiatrists provide comprehensive treatment and management. Given that there is presently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, the goal of treatment is to improve, stabilize, or slow the cognitive, functional, and behavioural decline. Moreover, psychiatrists also provide vital consultative services and education concerning mental health problems for older adults. Psychiatrists also can help family members cope with the psychological burden or toll of care giving.Conclusion: If any of your loved ones have been recently diagnosed with possible Alzheimer’s disease, you’re probably overwhelmed with worry and responsibility. While it may be burdensome, please realize that there are resources to help you and your family steer through these choppy waters. First and foremost is of course the doctor who should help you and your loved ones understand what the diagnosis is, what it means, how to treat the symptoms right now, and how to re-evaluate the diagnosis as time marches on. Look out for social services available to help your family with financial, physical and emotional support. With the help of others, you can learn more about the disease, find the right doctor, join a support group, and get the caregiving help that every Alzheimer’s family needs. Please seek out your community to help you face this challenge. And if your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s, please be more patient, loving and understanding. Thank you.-End-  References :Up to dateNCBI Aboutalz.org 


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