Recognizing Alzheimer’s and Dementia

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Did you know that 55 million people have Alzheimer’s or another dementia? As of this year, 6.5 million individuals in the U.S. age 65 and above live with Alzheimer’s, 73% of them are 75 or older.

Dementia is brought on by the destruction or loss of nerve cells (neurons) and their relationship to the brain. Individuals can be affected by dementia differently depending on the specific part of the brain that is damaged. Therefore, dementia symptoms will look different from person to person.

About Alzheimer’s and dementia

The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive illness that damages memory and other mental abilities used for daily functions, accounting for nearly 60-80% of cases. Alzheimer’s, along with other advancing dementias such as Lewy body, vascular, mixed, and frontotemporal are not reversible. The key difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is that dementia is an overarching term used to group a variety of symptoms, whereas Alzheimer’s disease is just one cause of dementia.

Signs and symptoms

Visible signs of dementia typically include cognitive and psychological shifts.

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Memory loss
  • Trouble with words or communicating
  • Complications with problem-solving
  • Trouble with familiar tasks
  • Organization difficulties
  • Complications with planning
  • Motor function or coordination difficulties
  • A lost sense of direction
  • Easily disoriented

Psychological symptoms:

  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Changes in personality, behavior, or mood

With Alzheimer’s, areas of the brain that are first attacked are those related to memory, thinking, and language. Changes in the brain have been found to start at least 20 years or longer before symptoms can even be seen. Since Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, it will continue to worsen over time.

Due to the damage done to nerve cells, Alzheimer’s eventually affects areas of the brain responsible for daily functioning such as swallowing, walking, and speaking. Research has shown that individuals 65 years of age and above typically live with Alzheimer's disease for 4-8 years. However, some surpass this average by living with the disease for 20 years. Those with late-stage Alzheimer’s (advanced) may need a dedicated caregiver 24/7, as they will eventually not be able to look after themselves in the same ways they have beforehand.

How We Can Help

Aside from the effects Alzheimer’s and dementia have on an individual themself, it also places a significant amount of strain and stress on family, friends, and caregivers. We take pride in supporting the older adults of our community and offer several services to better help them.

With primary care providers, specialists, pharmacy, labs, and imaging all under one roof, our team works collaboratively to offer you the best access to care, in the most convenient way. To make it easier on you, we even offer a pharmacy delivery service to ensure your prescriptions make it to your home right when you need them.

To visit with a primary care provider, please choose your preferred location below and text us to schedule an appointment today!

  • West Plano Medical Village: Text (469) 382-4891
  • Independence Medical Village: Text (469) 382-3548
  • McKinney Medical Village: Text (469) 382-3717
  • Frisco Medical Village: Text (469) 382 - 3415

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.