Attention to Early Symptoms of Alzheimer's

Attention to Early Symptoms of Alzheimer's
Attention to Early Symptoms of Alzheimer's

Acıbadem Ataşehir Hospital Neurology Specialist Prof. Dr. Neşe Tuncer made statements about Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is most common in people over 65 years of age and causes dementia. It impairs memory, behavior, thinking and social abilities, causing a cognitive decline that interferes with the person's activities of daily living and social autonomy. Moreover, its prevalence is increasing day by day; A new Alzheimer's diagnosis is made every 3 seconds in the world. Although there is no clear data in our country, it is stated that there are more than 600 thousand Alzheimer's patients, this number is increasing day by day and there are many undiagnosed patients.

Acıbadem Ataşehir Hospital Neurology Specialist Prof. Dr. Neşe Tuncer pointed out that early diagnosis and treatment in Alzheimer's disease is extremely important and said, “Although there is no cure today, the progression rate of Alzheimer's can be stopped or slowed down for a certain period of time thanks to early diagnosis and treatment. With the trainings given, time is gained for the patient and his family in order to gain the equipment to cope with the disease. Therefore, for early diagnosis, the 'forgetfulness' problem that occurs especially in people over the age of 65 is not considered as a natural consequence of aging, and it is of great importance to consult a neurologist without wasting time. said.

It signals 20-30 years ago!

Alzheimer's is a disease characterized by abnormal protein deposition and loss of nerve cells in the brain. Changes in the brain begin 20-30 years before the symptoms of the disease appear. Today, biomarkers that can confirm the diagnosis of Alzheimer's, can measure objectively, describe normal or pathological biological processes, or evaluate treatment response are widely used. Neurology Specialist Prof. Dr. Neşe Tuncer said, “In our country, genes such as ApoE, APP, Presenilin, I and II, which are tested in the blood for the detection of amyloid and tau protein levels in the cerebrospinal fluid and even in the blood, genetic susceptibility and transitivity, and which are responsible for Alzheimer's, can be detected in structural imaging of the brain with MRI. Thanks to methods such as volume measurements that are detected and shrinkage analysis, risky people in the pre-disease period and patients with new onset symptoms can be detected with high accuracy.”

Watch out for early signs!

Since Alzheimer's disease is a disease that can impair insight from an early stage, patients may often be unaware of their condition and refuse to go to the doctor. Neurology Specialist Prof. Dr. Neşe Tuncer points out that it is extremely important for the relatives of the patients to apply to the physician without delay when they notice the symptoms of Alzheimer's. prof. Dr. Neşe Tuncer lists the early symptoms of Alzheimer's as follows:

The recent past is not remembered

Alzheimer's, an insidious disease, often begins with imperfections in recent memory. The disease prevents learning new information and causes the most recent experiences to be deleted first. While the personal and current events of the recent past, the ones that happened the day before are forgotten, the past experiences are remembered. As the disease progresses, old memories are erased from memory.

Items not found, repeating questions

Problems putting things in inappropriate places and not being able to find them, asking the same questions over and over, difficulty finding words and forgetting the subject while speaking are also common early symptoms.

Unable to perform custom tasks

Difficulty in doing usual routine work and hobbies (cooking, driving, repairing, sewing), inability to start a business, difficulty in judging and making decisions, and inability to concentrate are also common in patients.

Personality change is happening

Unexplained behavior and mood changes are also common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Behavioral changes and psychiatric symptoms such as introversion, depression or extreme anger, agitation, unreasonable irritability, shouting, aggression or suspicion (thinking that his money has been stolen, drugged to be killed, his spouse cheating on him) are also common.

Perception of time and place is distorted

There are problems such as not being aware of place and time. Getting lost on known roads and having difficulty finding direction are also typical symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Declining interest in personal appearance and surroundings

There are problems with personal appearance and indifference to others. As Alzheimer's progresses, a lack of interest in the environment develops. For example, the patient may be reluctant to do his hobbies and give up his responsibilities at home.

With treatment, the symptoms of the disease are slowed down

Early diagnosis is very important in Alzheimer's disease. The effectiveness of acetylcholine esterase inhibitors, which are among the symptomatic treatments used today and proven to be effective in slowing down the symptoms of the disease, are longer-lasting if they are started in the early period before the loss of nerve cells increases too much. Neurology Specialist Prof. Dr. Neşe Tuncer pointed out that other factors such as atherosclerotic risks, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid diseases and depression, which will increase the symptoms of the disease, can be controlled in Alzheimer's, which is defined in the early stages, and added: "In addition to increasing the scientifically beneficial nutrition, cognitive stimulation, stimuli, Physical and mental exercise methods are taught. The patient and his family are given time to gain the equipment to cope with the disease. After the disease symptoms progress, the benefits of the treatments remain limited.” he said.

Drug studies offer hope

Apart from the two groups of drugs used in the world and in our country, studies on different drugs for Alzheimer's treatment are still ongoing. Neurology Specialist Prof. Dr. Neşe Tuncer states that 31 of these drugs have reached the final stage called phase 3 and explains the developments regarding treatment as follows: “In mid-2021, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave conditional approval to a drug and decided that it can be used in early Alzheimer's patients. In Alzheimer's disease, the drug can clear amyloid protein from the brain, which begins to accumulate in the brain before the symptoms of the patients begin. However, studies continue to determine how useful it is. The results of different drugs that clear amyloid plaques with a similar mechanism are expected to come out very soon.”

Günceleme: 19/09/2022 14:09

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