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8 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer's day care

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 5.7 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s. This disease slowly affects the memory, thinking capabilities, and behavior of an individual and gets worse with time. At New Generations, we’re proud to support Alzheimer’s Awareness month and offer Alzheimer’s day care to individuals in South Carolina.

Here, our Alzheimer’s day care company shares eight facts about the disease you probably didn’t know:

It could take 20 years to notice symptoms.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that slowly causes memory decline. When changes in the brain first begin, the brain can compensate for them. As more negative changes occur, however, the brain becomes unable to compensate. It’s only then that symptoms start to show, and it can take up to 20 years to do so.

You can prevent, treat, and (sometimes) reverse Alzheimer’s.

Many people believe that Alzheimer’s is something that is inevitable; others believe that once you have Alzheimer’s, there’s no treatment or it’s irreversible. However, there is evidence against all of these things. More than 50% of Alzheimer’s cases are preventable with attention to things like blood pressure, physical exercise, blood sugar levels, and dietary choices. In addition, those with Alzheimer’s can receive treatments in drug or non-drug form. And according to a study by Dr. Dale Bredesen, those with the disease can regain cognitive function by altering their lifestyles.

Depression can be a sign.

While depression can be its own illness, it can also be a sign of Alzheimer’s – especially when depression is paired with a difficulty remembering names, events, directions, conversations, and other simple things.

A lack of sleep and a lack of school can lead to Alzheimer’s.

Studies have found that those who don’t get enough sleep build up a protein called amyloid in their brains. This protein is associated with attacking the brain’s long-term memory and triggering Alzheimer’s. In addition, those who have fewer years of schooling are more at risk for Alzheimer’s than those who have more. This is because education sparks connections in the brain and helps keep it sharp.

Alzheimer’s and dementia are different.

People often use the terms “Alzheimer’s” and “dementia” interchangeably. However, they’re not the same thing. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia, but dementia is not a type of Alzheimer’s. Dementia is an umbrella term (and not a specific disease) that describes “symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.”

There’s no one way to diagnose Alzheimer’s.

There are a variety of ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease:

  • An evaluation of:
    • Medical history
    • Family history
    • Psychiatric history
  • A physical exam
  • Cognitive tests
  • A blood test
  • A brain scan

Millions of Americans care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.

Did you know that more than 15 million Americans are caregivers for a loved one with Alzheimer’s? Furthermore,15% of those who aren’t caregivers expect to be in the next five years. At New Generations, we know this task can take a toll. That’s why we offer Alzheimer’s day care. We can help relieve the stress of caring for a loved one while helping them live a happy, fulfilling life.

Individuals with Down syndrome are more at risk.

Studies have shown that individuals with Down syndrome have a greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s. In fact, one study found that around one-third of all individuals with Down syndrome aged 55-60 also had dementia. This may be because of the extra chromosome 21, which is involved in the production of amyloid.

If you or a loved one is affected by Alzheimer’s, contact the caregivers at New Generations. We develop a personalized Alzheimer’s day care plan for each individual to maximize their independence, happiness, and overall quality of life.