Alzheimer’s symptoms can vary from memory loss to erratic behavior. However, most people suffer for a long time before being diagnosed.
Although doctors and researchers are learning more and more every day about the terrible and debilitating disease, Alzheimer’s symptoms are still fairly misunderstood. The disease, which is traditionally looked upon as a rite of old age, continues to baffle even the most educated physicians. Yet, for the thousands of families that care for a loved one with the disease, there is nothing baffling about the pain and loss that they feel.
Alzheimer’s symptoms and the disease itself are known to be genetic or hereditary. This means that the person experiencing the symptom likely has a gene mutation that they inherited from a grandparent or parent. In some cases, entire groups of siblings inherit the gene mutation. Looking closely at specific families where a parent suffered and died due to complications of the disease, researchers have found that all but one of the surviving children carry the same genetic flaw.
At this point there is no cure for the disease. However, as physicians and researchers learn more about the disease and its side effects, they are coming up with more advanced ways to treat the onset. There is some belief that there are ways, through pharmaceuticals and therapeutic means, to slow the disease. By slowing the disease, patients can maintain a normal life longer, before the worst of the side effects take over.
Early memory loss is commonly associated with patients suffering from Alzheimer’s symptoms. As researchers learn more about what is happening in the brain to cause memory loss, they are working to understand how to treat it. There have been some studies suggesting a connection between memory loss and the levels of homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid. Research suggests that too much homocysteine may be related to memory loss and other negative side effects.
It is important to note that memory loss and difficulties are not exclusively related to any one disease, nor are they always a warning sign for a greater problem. Memory loss can happen to many people at many different ages for a multitude of reasons. Patients who have experienced brain trauma often suffer from memory loss. Sometimes poor diet and exercise can affect a person’s memory.
Regardless of disease occurrence, by learning more about the body’s chemical makeup, science is making progress. Learning how too much of an amino acid like homocysteine or deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals can affect brain development allows researchers to get closer to making a breakthrough in the treatments of many diseases, physical and neurological in nature. Researchers still have a long way to go, but the progress continues to be exciting.
If you are interested in the science surrounding the Alzheimer’s symptoms and their treatments, talk to your doctor. Physicians have many resources available to them that can help you educate your family on the disease. Scholarly journals, brochures and magazines all are a great resource when it comes to learning more about science and medicine.