On the occasion of the World Day of Alzheimer's Disease the Italian Society of Neurology (SIN) gives concrete advice on how to prevent the most common form of dementia and how to relate it to relatives who suffer from this disease.
Finding medicines to block evolution or alleviate Alzheimer's has still not brought important results, if not those that relieve the symptoms a little. Currently, prevention is the only weapon against this disease that affects about 40 million people worldwide, including 1 million only in Italy. This is what neurologists and patient associations say on the occasion of the World Day of Alzheimer's disease, which was celebrated yesterday. Today, the only real tool for to fight Alzheimer's disease ̵
What is the cause of the disease? Alzheimer?
Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. In general, the symptoms develop slowly and deteriorate over time to such an extent that they interfere with daily activities. The disease is named after Alois Alzheimer, a German neurologist who first described his symptoms and neuropathological aspects in 1907. In the autopsy examination, the doctor found specific signs in the brain tissue of a woman who had died as a result of an unusual mental illness. In fact, he highlighted the presence of agglomerates, later called amyloid plaques, and bundles of entangled fibers, the neurofibrillary tangles. In patients with Alzheimer's disease, there is a loss of nerve cells in the brain regions, which are crucial for memory and other cognitive functions. There is also a small proportion of such chemicals as acetylcholine, which act as neurotransmitters and are therefore involved in nerve cell communication.
The Ten Main Symptoms
Anterograde Amnesia: Forgetfulness and Disorders Memory Specific to Recent Events
Apraxia: Difficulties in performing tasks known as lacing or buttons that do not depend on physical disabilities
Agnosia: difficulty recognizing everyday objects and their functions
Anomia: Difficulty to name universally recognized things
Spatial disorientation: confusing familiar places
Time orientation: wrong month, wrong season or wrong year
Akalkulie: Difficulty to perform relatively simple logical or mathematical operations in which, for example, money must be counted and counted
Lost items: tendency to lose things by forgetting them in the strangest places (keys in the refrigerator, laundry in the kitchen)
Mood or personality changes: tendency to confusion, mistrust, depression, anxiety, fear, upset
Apathy: loss of self-initiative and self-interest, others and the environment in general
How is it treated
Despite current advances in the field of pharmacology, there are currently no drugs that could block the progression of the disease Alzheimer. There are currently available medicines called "symptomatic", meaning that they have a beneficial effect on the symptoms of the disease. The purpose of these drugs, along with non-pharmacological supports, is to restore a dignified life for the sick and serenity for the family environment. The only real tool to fight Alzheimer's disease is prevention, by first reducing the risk factors for vascular diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking and poor physical activity, which we have seen are ways of developing Alzheimer's disease. As? Through a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and a diet with many antioxidants like the Mediterranean diet. Recent data suggest a tendency to reduce the incidence of the disease in industrialized countries precisely because of the greater control of vascular risk factors.