World Alzheimer Day 2020; the stigma and unknown facts about most common Dementia

World Alzheimer Day 2020 has a lot of stigmas attached to it. Since there is little or no understanding of the disease the stigmatization and misinformation about it is global problem.

Ever since 2012, September has been World Alzheimer month. This year on September 21, which is world Alzheimer Day the theme is ‘’Let’s talk about Dementia’’ and an international campus is being run to raise awareness about the disease and the stigmas attached to it.

In 7th century BC, Greek philosopher Pythagoras spoke of ‘’a human lifespan’’ and called the later years of human life as the ‘’senium’’. He described a period of mental and physical decline with the term senium. In the late 1500s and 1600s Shakespeare too wrote about it in some of his great plays like ‘’hamlet’ and ‘King Lear’’ where characters suffered from loss of mental acuity in later years of life.

It was only in 1901 when a German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer identified the first case in a 50 year old German woman and the brain the brain morbidity was named after him. Later in 1948, Alzheimer disease International was founded in 1994 on their 10th anniversary and it was then announced that the World’s First Alzheimer Day to be set on month of September 21st the month was launched in 2012.

It is important in today’s time to raise awareness about the brain condition since Alzheimer affects about 6% of people aged 65 years and older but an average of 2-3% people globally have no understanding about it many of them consider it as normal part of aging which is not true.

Lesser Known Facts   

1.       It is most common form of dementia. The term is used to define brain disease related memory loss and diminished cognitive skills

2.       Women have higher risk. Nearly twice as many women have AD as men as brain shrinkage tends to more severe in women with AD in comparison to men.

3.       Your heart and your head are closely related. Disease like; high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, poor diet, non-active lifestyle are linked to higher chances of Alzheimer

4.       Linked with a loss of sense of smell. A person with Alzheimer may lose their sense according to National Institute of Health. It is important to note that change in your ability to smell may also be due to other causes such as; Parkinson’s Diseases, Brain injury, sinus infection.

5.       Life expectancy varies. The amount of time it takes Alzheimer to progress varies from person to person so it’s hard to predict how long someone with the disease will live. Younger adults who get the disease may live with the condition for 10 years or more.

 

There are seven stages of Alzheimer disease; Stage 1- no impairment, Stage 2 – very mild decline, Stage 3- mild decline, Stage 4- moderate decline, Stage 5- moderately severe decline, Stage 6- severe decline and Stage 7- very severe decline.

While we need to have curative treatment for dementia one can help by volunteering in dementia care, providing life care and support for family members, protecting people from it with timely care, early diagnosis and help in removing the stigma. Education and educating can lower the risk of getting infected by AD, if you keep yourself busy by engaging in activities such as learning languages, playing musical instrument etc. but above all the more education you have about the disease the more effectively you could tackle it and help out.  


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