Alzheimer’s is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States and primarily affects seniors. Over time, this progressive disease affects a person’s memory, cognitive function, and personality. If you provide Alzheimer’s home care in Boca Raton for a senior loved one, you may be interested in these little-known facts about AD.
#1: Researchers have developed a test that might detect Alzheimer’s 10 years before oblivious symptoms are detected.
Researchers have developed a new blood test that may be able to predict Alzheimer’s disease ten years before symptoms occur. Researchers with the National Institute on Aging who created the test say it’s 100 percent accurate and focuses on a brain protein called IRS-1 that is believed to signal the earliest stages of the disease.
#2: Early-onset Alzheimer’s can develop as early as the age of 30.
Most people with Alzheimer’s have the late-onset type of the disease, with symptoms typically beginning in the mid-60s. About five percent of people with AD, however, develop symptoms as early as the age of 30. Early-onset Alzheimer’s usually runs in families and it can be harder to diagnose because family members and doctors may not suspect Alzheimer’s at a younger age.
#3: Alzheimer’s disease is associated with a lost sense of smell.
While most people are familiar with many of the common symptoms of Alzheimer’s, including memory loss and personality changes, one of the most unique symptoms of the disease is a reduced ability to smell. Studies have found that a lost sense of smell is often one of the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
#4: Alzheimer’s causes significant changes to brain structure.
Alzheimer’s causes tissue loss and nerve cell death affecting the entire brain. As the disease progresses, the brain shrinks and nearly all brain function is affected. The cortex shrivels, which damages memory, planning, and thinking, but the most severe tissue loss is in the hippocampus, the region associated with the formation of new memories. Plagues, or clusters of protein fragments, build up between nerve cells in the brain and dead nerve cell tangles form.
#5: Alzheimer’s is sometimes called the third type of diabetes.
Boca Raton in-home caregivers recently learned that some experts call Alzheimer’s the third type of diabetes because the same enzymes that lower blood sugar also reduce levels of amyloid, the protein that is associated with the brain plaques of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s believed that when these enzymes are too involved with high blood sugar they cannot lower amyloid levels in the brain.
If you provide care for an elderly relative with Alzheimer’s and could use additional support ensuring his or her needs are met, reach out to Home Care Assistance. As a leading provider of senior care Boca Raton families trust, we ensure local seniors have the help necessary to maintain their safety and wellbeing in the comfort of home. Call a dedicated Care Manager at (561) 826.9282 today and schedule a free in-home consultation.