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Mental Health Notes Etc

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Mental Health Notes Etc

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease affects about five percent of people ages 65 to 74 and is the most common form of dementia, but there are many misconceptions and fears about this disorder.

Some forms of dementia can be treated and some symptoms may even be reversed, especially if caught early. Most types of dementia, however, including Alzheimer’s, become progressively

worse and are, as of now, incurable.

While dementia presents itself differently from individual to individual, common symtoms include:

Memory loss

Language problems

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Persistent confusion

Face-recognition issues

Lack of self- regard

Inability to do routine tasks

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Erratic behavioral and psychological changes

While Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting an estimated 4.5 million Americans, other diseases or traumas can also lead to neurological dysfunction. Since the only way to definitively confirm the presence of Alzheimer’s disease is by looking at changes in brain tissue, which can usually only be examined after death during an autopsy, any diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is essentially an educated guess. But, despite the challenge of sorting out Alzheimer’s from other causes of dementia, experts at the National Institute on Aging estimate that doctors at specialized centers can now diagnose Alzheimer’s with 90 percent accuracy.

One other form of dementia is Parkinson’s disease. Early symptoms of Parkinson’s include stiffness of the limbs, tremors, speech impairment, and difficulty with walking and muscle control. Dementia can often occur as a secondary symptom in the later stages of the disease.

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An OEN Editor. Born-03/20/1934, BA Pol. Sci.-U of Washington-1956, MBA-Seattle U-1970, Boeing-Program Control-1957-1971, State of Oregon-Mental Health Division-Deputy Admistrator-1971-1979, llinois Association of Community MH (more...)

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