Did you know that brain function can decline due to the aging process or health problems? Decreased brain function can also lead to memory loss, which is commonly called dementia and Alzheimer's. Many people think of dementia and Alzheimer's as the same thing. In fact, dementia is a brain disorder that affects a person's ability to communicate and perform daily activities; while Alzheimer's is one of the most common forms and causes of dementia caused by the death of brain cells so that the connections between cells become damaged and affect the part of the brain that controls a person's ability to think, remember, and communicate with language.
Alzheimer's Indonesia statistics and the Indonesian Ministry of Health reveal that there are 46.8 million people in the world diagnosed with Alzheimer's, with 10 million new cases every year.
The biggest factor for Alzheimer's disease is age. Alzheimer's occurs mostly in elderly people, aged 65 years or older. However, lifestyle is also an additional factor that determines whether a person is at risk of developing Alzheimer's or not. That is, those who are young but have a poor lifestyle also have a risk of Alzheimer's. Lifestyle improvements can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's is characterized by the most common early symptoms being difficulty remembering new information or impaired short-term memory because Alzheimer's affects the part of the brain associated with learning first. At a later stage more severe symptoms appear, namely disorientation, confusion, depression, memory loss, and behavioral changes. Until at an advanced stage, they have difficulty walking, speaking, and swallowing.
Unfortunately, the early signs when someone is affected by Alzheimer's are easy to forget, don't know where they are, don't realize time has passed, don't remember what they are doing, often neglected. Whereas early detection of early symptoms is very helpful for diagnosis and determining the right type of treatment.
If you or a relative has suspicion of Alzheimer's, immediately consult a general practitioner, neurologist, geriatric doctor, and psychiatrist. You can do online or offline consultations with these doctors through the mDoc application.