Dementia is the broad term for a variety of cognitive diseases that you can develop over your lifetime. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which affects more than 55 million people worldwide.
Losing your memory or watching a loved one go through the drastic personality changes associated with Alzheimer’s can be scary and overwhelming. Our staff at AFC Urgent Care Knoxville explains more below about dementia and how to support your brain as you age, so read on to learn more.
What Is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a disease that attacks and destroys your brain cells that control your critical thinking skills and house your memories. It kills the cells that are responsible for specific memories, so once those cells are gone, you can struggle recalling people, places or the information needed to accomplish basic tasks.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s at this time. Once you have it, it will progressively get worse as you age. It can start out with simple memory troubles like continually forgetting a relative’s name and can progress all the way to losing the ability to take care of your personal hygiene.
Common Symptoms Associated With an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis
- Forgetting where you are or where you are going often
- Deepening confusion of events and people
- Mood and behavior changes
- Difficulty speaking, walking or swallowing
Can Alzheimer’s Symptoms Be Reversed?
There are a variety of medications out there that can help slow down the progression of the illness and help retain your lasting memories, but eventually the diagnosis will continue to progress as you get older. You can also do certain cognitive therapies to support your brain and activities like memoir writing can help you recall parts of your life and get them down on paper.
Dementia, and Alzheimer’s specifically, have a genetic component, so you can’t completely prevent yourself from getting them. However, you can support your brain throughout your entire life to help keep your memory sharp and reduce your risk. Stay active, exercise often, maintain social relationships and challenge your brain with books and brain games every day.
A Healthy Brain Lifestyle
- Consistent exercise throughout life
- Social engagement with peers and family
- Healthy diet
- Stress management throughout life
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can be incredibly isolating. Come to AFC Urgent Care Knoxville to meet with our care team.