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Alzheimer's disease (Dementia)

Alzheimer's disease is a severe cerebral disease characterized by advancing dementia and cerebral atrophy. Alzheimer's disease is the most frequently occurring type of old age dementia in Denmark, and 30% of the Danish population over the age of 80 is diagnosed.

What is Alzheimer's disease?

Alzheimer's disease gradually causes complete intellectual and mental disintegration. Life expectancy for people with Alzheimer’s disease is shorter than the average life expectancy. Following the diagnosis life expectancy ranges from between three to ten years.

Alzheimer's disease can cause considerable frustration and sorrow for relatives, because of the fast and strong influence of the disease on the mind and the general health.

Symptoms

Alzheimer's starts with dementia symptoms: forgetfulness and emotional instability (irritability and crying). Memory fails and everyday-things such as getting dressed, washing yourself, finding your way, and participating in everyday activities become problematic. 
The vocabulary is reduced to single words and sentences with no connection to the situation. Close relatives are not recognized and with time, the person becomes completely helpless.

Treatment

There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but it is possible to medicate for the accompanying mental symptoms (depression, psychosis, anxiety). 
Additionally, it is possible to stimulate the memory and to support and help by informing and counselling patients and their relatives about the condition and its development. Early diagnosis is important as the treatment in the early phases has a larger effect and is able to delay Alzheimer's disease.

Find more information here:

National Institute of Health (US)
The Alzheimer Association (in Danish)
 

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