Everything You Need to Know About Alzheimer’s Disease


Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that affects behavior, thinking, and memory. The symptoms of this disease can grow to be severe enough that they begin to hinder daily tasks and activity. If you wish to become a nurse who caters to such patients, then you may want to get an advanced degree by enrolling in the direct MSN program. However, if you or a loved one is showing symptoms and you wish to know more about Alzheimer’s, today we shall examine what Alzheimer’s is, how it affects patients, and other relevant details.

What Is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease or disorder that worsens over time due to protein deposits in the brain. This occurs due to chemical changes in the brain and causes brain cells to shrink and die eventually. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and leads to a gradual decline in thinking, behavior, social skills, and memory. All these symptoms hamper a person’s ability to function normally.

Early symptoms include the inability to recall recent conversations or forgetting recent events. These symptoms eventually progress to more serious memory issues and the loss of ability to perform daily tasks. Medicines can slow the progression of symptoms or improve them, but patients may require support from caregivers. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for the disease, and advanced stages lead to a severe loss of brain function that leads to infections, malnutrition, dehydration, or even death.

What Are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Memory Issues

Memory lapses are common in almost everyone, but symptoms of memory loss in Alzheimer’s are persistent and worsen over time. Memory loss eventually affects the ability to function at work and at home. A person with Alzheimer’s will often:

  • Repeat questions and statements
  • Forget events, appointments, and conversations
  • Get lost in familiar neighborhoods while driving or walking
  • Misplace items in weird places
  • Have difficulty expressing thoughts, taking part in conversations, and recalling names of objects 
  • Forget the names of everyday objects and even family members

Poor Decision-Making and Judgment 

Alzheimer’s affects the ability to think rationally, which leads a patient to make insensible decisions and judgments in daily situations. They may end up wearing clothes for the wrong kind of weather and even start finding it difficult to respond to everyday situations like burning food, or making the wrong turn while driving.

Alzheimer’s not only affects the ability to think but also makes it hard for an affected individual to concentrate. This specifically includes abstract concepts such as symbols and numbers. Multitasking also becomes impossible, and patients eventually forget to function normally, cook or even bathe themselves.

Changes in Behavior and Personality

Brain changes in Alzheimer’s disease can affect behavior and mood. Other symptoms can include:

  • Social withdrawal 
  • Loss of interest in daily activities 
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Mistrust 
  • Aggression or anger
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Wandering 

Loss in Preserved Skills

Alzheimer’s disease patients face major changes to memory and skills. They can hold on to some skills initially, but as time goes on and symptoms worsen, they may lose these completely.

Loss of preserved skills includes telling stories, reading/listening to a book, singing, listening to music, dancing, drawing, painting, doing crafts, and even sharing memories. Preserved skills are the last to go as they are controlled by parts of the brain that get affected in the later stages of the disease.

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease

The exact reasons for Alzheimer’s are not fully known. At a simpler level, it is described as the failure of the brain protein function. This eventually disrupts brain cell function leading to neuron damage, loss of cell connection, and neuron death.

Scientists believe Alzheimer is caused due to lifestyle changes, environmental factors, genetics, and aging. A few cases also occur due to specific genetic changes in middle age. Brain damage begins in the brain region that controls memory and spreads in a predictable pattern. The brain also shrinks significantly by the later stages of the disease.

Risk Factors


Middle-aged or older individuals are at a greater risk of developing this disease. There are more women with this disease because they tend to live longer than men.


The risk of developing Alzheimer’s is greater in an individual with a parent or sibling that has the disease. Genetic factors increase the risk, but why this happens is complex to understand. Scientists have discovered rare changes in genes that are a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s.

Down Syndrome

Most people with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer’s due to having three copies of chromosome 21. The gene is involved in protein production, which leads to the formation of beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid fragments lead to brain plaques. Symptoms in Down syndrome patients appear 10 to 20 years earlier as compared to regular people.


Even though Alzheimer’s cannot be cured, it can be managed with the help of medications and professional consultation. If you or a loved one has any symptoms, contact a doctor immediately.