It is a condition in which Neurons of the brain slowly decays and loses its functions. It is not able to revitalize dead or decaying neurons. Memory loss is progressive. In the initial stages of illness, it is the recent memory that is commonly affected. Old memories will also get affected as the disease progresses. In advanced stages, patients lose their communication skills, not able to hold new information, repeatedly ask same questions, may have way finding difficulties, forgets names, not able to recognize people. They may also use abusive language, and show violent behavior, tendency to wander, reduced sleep, suspicions, complaining of thefts, misbehavior etc. In the later stages of illness, patient may be bedridden, and unable to do even personal care.
It is difficult to recognize disease at an early stage, due to the lack of awareness and symptoms may be misinterpreted as patient’s laziness, or attention seeking behavior and hence the sufferer may be blamed for the unusual behavior.
There is no effective treatment for the illness. Research is still underway. But there are many medications which can arrest/modify the progression of illness. Sleep related problems, anxiety, suspicion etc. can be controlled with medications,
How to manage at home?
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