Dementia signs and symptoms: Alzheimer’s disease patents’ outlook | Health | Life & Style
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a group of diseases affecting the brain.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type, but vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and frontotemporal dementia closely follow.
Symptoms can include problems with memory loss, thinking speed, mental sharpness and quickness, language, understanding, judgement, movement and general difficulties carrying out daily activities.
But what is the outlook for dementia, in particular, Alzheimer’s?
The NHS states that people with Alzheimer’s disease can live for several years after they start to develop symptoms. But this can vary considerably from person to person.
It adds: “Alzheimer’s disease is a life-limiting illness, although many people diagnosed with the condition will die from another cause.
“As Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological condition, it can cause problems with swallowing.
“This can lead to aspiration (food being inhaled into the lungs), which can cause frequent chest infections.”
It’s also common for people with Alzheimer’s disease to eventually have difficulty eating and have a reduced appetite, according to the health body.
People over 65 are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.
According to the organisation: “Developing Alzheimer’s disease is linked to a combination of factors.
“Some of these risk factors [such as lifestyle] can be controlled, but others [such as age and genes] cannot.”
Age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
After you’ve turned 65 years old, your risk of the condition almost doubles every five years.
But, you’re also more likely to have Alzheimer’s if you’re female.
The link may be due to a lack of oestrogen after women go through the menopause.
The Alzheimer’s Society states: “Medical conditions such as diabetes, stroke and heart problems, as well as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity in mid-life, are all known to increase the risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
“People who adopt a healthy lifestyle, especially from mid-life onwards, are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
“This means taking regular physical exercise and keeping to a healthy weight, not smoking, eating a healthy balanced diet and drinking only in moderation.”
There’s no certain way to prevent the disease, but experts have suggested six ways to reduce the risk of it developing.