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Understanding Alzheimer’s in India- Causes, Management and Treatment

Understanding Alzheimer’s in India- Causes, Management and Treatment

Why is Psychiatric Care a Social Taboo in India?

Mental health has always been a blanketed topic in our country. People approach multispeciality hospital services related to cardiology, neurology, gastrology, and many more but seeking help from a psychiatrist or mental health professional remains undone. The social taboo around mental health is one of the reasons behind India’s low mental wellbeing as a nation.

We are facing these age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, osteoporosis, obesity, and depression because of our low focus towards mental wellbeing. Old people often suffer the most due to this lack of awareness and acceptance. The major illness that is associated with the age factor is Alzheimer’s and it is a global health crisis that needs to be addressed properly.

What is Alzheimer’s? What are its causes?

Alzheimer’s is the disease that attacks the brain. It is a neurodegenerative disorder which means that it is a progressive disease that breaks down and destroys neuronal connections in the brain. This causes a decline in memory, thinking, behaviour, and other mental abilities. 

In India, more than 4 million people have some form of dementia. Worldwide, at least 44 million people are living with dementia (Alzheimer’s Association). And Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a progressive form of dementia where the changes interfere with the daily life of the individual. Alzheimer’s is caused because of the death of the brain cell.

Most often, Alzheimer’s is taken as a normal ageing related problem which is incorrect and thus reflects the unawareness around this disorder. Alzheimer’s is not just forgetfulness but it is a chronic, serious process of forgetfulness that interferes with the individual’s life on a day-to-day basis.

There are a few things an individual can adopt to help manage Alzheimer’s. Some of the tips are:

  1. Stay Active:
    Boost your brain by doing activities such as walking, jogging, yoga and aerobics. It will help to strengthen the brain areas blended with multitasking, planning and organizing. Exercising also improves memory.
  2. Captivate your brain:

    Research suggests that reading or learning new information might reduce Alzheimer disease by 47%. Solving riddles, crosswords, or playing cards/chess will keep the brain captivated. This might make the brain structure strong and protect the arrangement, in turn, decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s.

  3. Follow Diet Chart:

    Consume foods rich in vitamins C and E that will reduce brain shrinkage by 50%. ((More details about food for Alzheimer’s explained below ).

  4. Maintain Emotional Support:

    Sharing information about your feelings and emotions with friends and caregivers might drastically cut down the chances of advancing Alzheimer’s disease.

  5. Take Over Hypertension:

    Hypertension has the odds of raising the risk of both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Mediation and the right diet is a good defender against Alzheimer’s.

  6. Quit smoking

    Risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is higher with smoking. A research institute in Finland found that smoking 2 packets of cigarettes every day will increase the chance of getting Alzheimer’s in the near future.

  7. Stop being cynical

    According to a new study published in the medical journal, Neurology explains people with high levels of cynicism to be more likely to develop dementia.

  8. Try To Stay Away from Stress & Stressors

    Stress can increase the probabilities of Alzheimer’s and its severity. Making yourself occupied may help to combat stress. Avoid situations or people with negative thoughts and stress-inducing behavior.

  9. Sound Sleep

    Having a great sleep for 6 to 8 hours may help the brain to reduce the levels of amyloid plaques which is the culprit factor that majorly contributes to Alzheimer’s disease.

Foods to manage Alzheimer’s disease

  Powerful antioxidant present in spices can increase memory and stops brain damage from Alzheimer’s
  Eating an apple can activate the brain chemical called acetylcholine which helps in increasing memory, So, an apple a day keeps Alzheimer’s away.
  Berries contain a chemical called anthocyanosides which is good against memory issues.  
  The presence of polyphenol in red wine helps to reduce memory loss.
  Research suggests that Alzheimer’s symptoms may lower for nine years by consuming Omega- 3 fatty acids that are found in fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
  The chance of increasing cognitive functioning is possible by a supplement called folic acid which helps to reduce homocysteine which is responsible for hyperactive functioning.
  Dark chocolate can boost cerebral activity which enhances the brain’s blood circulation, lowers blood pressure and strokes
  Coffee conquers the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 65%. Antioxidants in vitamins C and E help reduce brain diminution by 50%.

What are the Treatment Options for Alzheimer’s?

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease as of today. But there are multiple treatment options that help ease the difficulty in the daily lives of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s.  Treatment also reduces the impact of the symptoms and delays the progression of the disease for as long as possible. A supportive atmosphere and physical health strategies like good health practices and exercising may help in waving off the early-onset of the signs. 

A few of the treatment options are:

  • Cognitive stimulation therapy involves taking part in group activities and exercises that are designed to improve memory and problem-solving skills.
  • Cognitive rehabilitation involves daily regular work with a trained professional or a family member who can monitor and regularly train you to do basic tasks by practicing each step and maintaining a proper schedule. 
  • During the early stages, your doctor may prescribe medication to help maintain high levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which helps maintain learning and memory in the brain and helps nerve cells communicate with each other.
  • Medication like antidepressants or antianxiety medication may be prescribed to treat the depression or anxiety that can come with Alzheimer’s. Antipsychotics can also be prescribed to treat any hallucinations, agitation, and aggression that accompany the disease.

To know more about Alzheimer’s or its treatment options, reach out to us @+91 9741476476.  We are here to help!