Questions About Alzheimer's Disease
Tests & Procedures

12 Rarely And Frequently Asked Questions About Alzheimer’s Disease

What is the Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease was originally identified by a German physician called Alois Alzheimer’s in 1907. It is a progressive neurodegenerative condition and one of the most common types of dementia that slowly declines a person’s memory, behavior, thinking and reasoning capabilities. The overall effect is that the patient is unable to fully perform simple day to day task and to effectively communicate.

The illness usually afflicts 1 in every 9 adults aged 65 and above and an overall estimation of about 5 million Americans. Alzheimer’s symptoms may appear in the 30s and mid-60s ages. The symptoms if not noticed and treated early develop slowly and can get worse over time causing the patient condition to get severe.

Alzheimer’s Test

An Alzheimer’s test is a (SAGE) Self Administered Gerocognitive Exam that is made up of 12 questions that take a little time to complete. It is used to help to understand and find out if a patient possesses any symptoms of the Alzheimer’s disease. Doctors use this memory test to screen those people who possess some symptoms of Alzheimer.

Some of The Common Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease:

  • Memory Loss and Confusion
  • Complications understanding and producing language
  • Inability to learn new information
  • Loss of various spatial abilities- like judging shapes
  • Apathy- Refusing to perform usual activities or maybe sleeping more than usual
  • Difficulties making decisions, judgment and solving various usual problems
  • Behavior and Personality changes

However, any presence of the above symptoms does not necessarily mean that Alzheimer’s disease is present; a complete diagnosis by a doctor is required.

Purpose of Alzheimer’s Test

With the Alzheimer’s disease, earlier the treatment the earlier the condition can be controlled before it gets severe. Studies show that many people usually delay for about 3-4 years on the onset of the Alzheimer’s symptoms before visiting a doctor.

Despite the Alzheimer’s disease being among the weightiest health challenges in the 21st century and the intense research done, there is no sure cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Any early test can help catch and also treat early Alzheimer symptoms.

6 Frequently Asked Questions About Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
    It is an irreversible brain disorder characterized by a slow decline in behavioral, cognitive, and physical abilities. The effect gets severe with time and can interfere with the ability to perform everyday tasks
  2. What Causes the Alzheimer’s Disease?
    Scientists have not yet understood the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease. However, most cases develop due to complex series of some pathological events that happen in the brain over time. Also, about 2-3% of the cases of Alzheimer have been caused by genetic factors.
  3. What is Dementia?
    Dementia is a collection of symptoms characterized by a slow decline in the intellectual functioning of a person. They are strong enough to interfere with one’s social relationships and normal day to day activities.
  4. What is the Most Common Age for Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease?
    Usually, Alzheimer increases with age. For instance, 3% of the people are 65-74 years of age, 17% are of the age of 75-84, and 32% are aged 85 and above.
  5. Can Alzheimer’s Disease be Treated?
    Currently, there is no treatment available. However, some drugs like donepezil, galantamine, or rivastigmine can be used to reduce the progression of the symptoms. Also, some medications can be used to control some behavioral symptoms like agitation, sleeplessness, anxiety, wandering, and depression making the patient more comfortable.
  6. What are the most common symptoms of the Alzheimer’s disease?
    • Memory loss
    • Oversleeping or sleeplessness
    • Behavior changes
    • Confusion
    • Loss of speech
    • Appetite and weight loss

6 Rarely Asked Questions about Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. What is Senile Dementia?
    It is the original name of dementia that occurs in older people.
  2. Approximately How Many People have Alzheimer’s Disease?
    There are about 5.5 people aged 65 and above and approximately about 200K under 65 years that have Alzheimer.
  3. Between Men and Women, How are at a Higher Risk of Developing the Alzheimer’s Disease?
    Even though Alzheimer’s disease occurs in both sexes, it particularly affects women. Fewer men than women die from this disease.
  4. Can Alzheimer’s disease occur in younger adults?
    It is possible, in fact, it can occur in people in their 30’s-50s. However, most people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are 65+ years.
  5. How Long Can A Person Live after being diagnosed with the Alzheimer’s Disease?
    Usually, cases vary depending on the individual. On average, from the time the symptoms appear, one can live up-to 8- 20 years with the Alzheimer’s disease.
  6. What Should I do if I Notice any Symptom of the Alzheimer’s Disease?
    Doctors and researchers encourage that if you are worried about a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, you should visit a doctor before attempting to self-diagnose with SAGE.

Even though the disease has no direct cure, people with Alzheimer can easily manage symptoms at home.

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad