Alzheimer’s disease is a long-term chronic illness, generally classified as a mental disorder. It is a chronic disease and is associated with memory loss and an inability to function normally in a daily environment. The effects of Alzheimer’s disease appear gradually as it is associated with loss of brain tissue in the humans. In extreme forms of Alzheimer’s, dementia is common, while its mild form is a memory loss. The focus of this essay is on the impact of the disease on a human being’s personality and also that what are the healing measures for the disease other than temporary relief through prescribed medicines.
Within this essay, we need to identify some healing measures for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. These are things that can be practiced in daily life with supervision and may ultimately result in some relief for the patients. One research suggests that exposure to children’s music and children’s singing leads to better response and recall by the Alzheimer’s disease than any other forms of communication (Simmons-Stern, Budson, Ally, 2010). The patients have been more responsive when exposed to children’s songs and can recall them later better than other routines of life. A case of better attention and improved memory has been reported with exposure to music. The researchers explain that music leads to the arousal of emotions and ultimately leads to improved expression by the patients of Alzheimer’s disease. However, it is clearly understood that not all forms of music shall arouse the emotions and better attention behavior of the patients. More studies in the future are likely in this domain to uncover the subject matter further.
Another research related to personality says that exposure to an open environment, and meeting similar people may bring down the influence of Alzheimer’s disease in terms of memory and daily focus in life (Duberstein et al., 2011). While the scientists are trying to develop measures to minimize the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, the field has not found much success so far in treating patients. This is where it is important that the sufferers refer to more social forms of help, such as support network as well as professional care (paid care). Since the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are memory loss and a loss of focus in daily life, it is important that the sufferers are exposed to familiar environments and territories for them to relate more to their surroundings. Since the concept of support networks is common in many countries, for example, a support network for patients suffering from cancer or AIDS, it may not be difficult to convince the patients of Alzheimer’s disease to refer to and join a support network in their vicinity.
Such exposure is expected to work for the benefit of the patient. However, even with a support network, constant supervision is necessary and the patients cannot be left truly on their own as part of the support network.
Common Symptoms of the Disease
While some healing measures related to the disease have been discussed above, it is important that the symptoms of the disease are closely highlighted and known. This is because the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease at times closely match with typical age-related typical changes (Mangialasche, Solomon, Winblad, Mecocci, Kivipelto, 2010).
For example, it is not uncommon to make wrong decisions in an older age; however, a severe loss of judgment and also getting every decision wrong would be a more serious symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and may require immediate assistance. Secondly, while it may be an age-related phenomenon to develop a slight memory loss, more frequent cases of memory loss and a lack of attention to detail are symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, having a difficult time in a conversation with people, that is, an inability to clearly express yourself to others is a sign of Alzheimer’s. However, a normal age-related symptom would be a loss of words occasionally while talking to people.
Another example of such a difference would be that a person loses his things once in a while. This would be an age-related memory problem. However, if a person is unable to locate most of his things after keeping them safe, it is a sign of Alzheimer’s disease that a person regularly misplaces things and is unable to recover them without the help of others (Citron, 2010).
Hence, there is a fine line between age-related problems and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. This problem stems from the fact that the symptoms are similar to one another. It is important for a healthy adult and a person of senior age to closely monitor their behavior and quickly report to their doctor in case of extraordinary changes in behavior. Such changes which a person determines as not the ordinary change of behavior and health problems which are age-related. Letting the symptoms of the disease get worse and delaying it will make any potential treatment and diagnose difficulty.
The presence of Alzheimer’s disease in the older population of the world is a challenge for scientists who are busy trying to reduce its intensity. However, the role of personal care, a support network through family and friends, as well as professional support, are all measures through which we may soothe the patients of Alzheimer’s disease. Hence, things which match with the personality of the patients, exposure to music, and letting the patients do what they like can provide a helping hand. However, since some patients may be suffering from dementia, such support and practices cannot be carried out without serious supervision. Also, since the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease mostly appear in an older age as opposed to cases of young adults, close supervision and maintaining a healthy support network can identify any potential symptoms and report to the doctor without delay.
- Citron, M. (2010). Alzheimer’s disease: strategies for disease modification. Nature reviews Drug discovery, 9(5), 387.
- Duberstein, P. R., Chapman, B. P., Tindle, H. A., Sink, K. M., Bamonti, P., Robbins, J., … Franks, P. (2011). Personality and risk for Alzheimer’s disease in adults 72 years of age and older: a 6-year follow-up. Psychology and aging, 26(2), 351.
- Mangialasche, F., Solomon, A., Winblad, B., Mecocci, P., Kivipelto, M. (2010). Alzheimer’s disease: clinical trials and drug development. The Lancet Neurology, 9(7), 702-716.
- Simmons-Stern, N. R., Budson, A. E., Ally, B. A. (2010). Music as a memory enhancer in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Neuropsychologia, 48(10), 3164-3167.