Patient discussion about Alzheimer's disease

!!! The questions and answers on this page are written by patients and are not reviewed by health professionals.

Q. My father is 84 and he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

I would like to share with all of you a common question that I hear a lot regarding Alzheimer. My father is 84 and he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Is there anything I can do to affect how long I stay mentally sharp or is it solely determined by my genes?
AThis is a question that I hear a lot and the answer is Yes. What we do also counts. It is not just genetics. While there is currently no medication that cures Alzheimer’s disease, there is quite a bit of science that shows that although our genes count, our brain health is not completely predetermined. Research shows us that certain behaviors and life style support brain health and prolong mental acuity. Important contributors to brain health are being socially active, physically active, and cognitively active. We need to continue to challenge our mind even when we are no longer in school or are retired. We need to keep a healthy nutrition, make sure we get adequate sleep, and engage in enjoyable activities and life style that help reduce stress levels. Being happy and feeling good about ourselves is also important.

Q. How can alzheimer's disease be slowed down?

My father has alzheimer's disease, but only not for a long time. Is it still possible to stop it from progressing? how to do it? He is still ok, recognizing everybody just not remember many things.
AThere are several drugs (including choline esterase inhibitors etc.) using to slow down mild-moderate Alzheimer’s disease, although these medications can't totally prevent the progression of the disease. Vitamin E is also generally recommended to Alzheimer disease patients. However, these drugs must be prescribed by a doctor so consulting one may be wise.

You may read more here:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/alzheimersdisease.html

Q. how do you know if you have early onset of alzheimers? i'm 47. i do have extreme tremors at times and memory l

i was told this could be what i have by a psychiatrist. What else can cause me to have these symptoms at my age and how do i know?
A1any time ;)
A2thanks to both of the people that gave me info on alzheimers. i greatly appreciate it.
A3Some early signs of Alzheimer's disease are:
Trouble remembering recent events.
Problems remembering namesof people and places.
Trouble solving simple math problems.

Alzheimer's disease usually affects people over 60. There are some illnesses and problems that may look like Alzheimer’s, but are caused by other problems.
These include:

Bad reaction to certain medicines
Depression
Not eating enough healthy foods, or too few vitamins and minerals in your body
Brain tumors
Blood vessel disease
Thyroid problems

Some of these illnesses can be treated. Once treated, your confusion and memory loss should go away. The point is to get checked out by your doctor. Don’t let fear stop you from seeing your doctor. You can get help.


Q. Is surfing the internet good for your brain?

I am 72 and I just discovered computers and the internet at our library. I find myself fascinated by it and I spend hours in front of the computer. Is surfing the internet good for your brain?
AThis is a very current question that people ask and the answer is YES it is. A recent study showed that adults who surf the internet regularly engage larger parts of their brain when doing so compared to adults who rarely surf.

Q. Can you tell me more about Brain games?

There are many new brain games now advertised by Nintendo and others. Are they doing anything to delay Alzheimer’s
A1Interesting comment. I'll check the link.
A2Some research have proven that those kind of brain games can help stimulating the areas in our brain, and then help us in improving our brain function, which can be implemented in every single aspect of our daily life.

Here is a link to brain age :
http://www.brainage.com/launch/training.jsp
A3This is a question that is often asked by individuals that are tuned in to innovations. Indeed, many of the software programs marketed today are designed to exercise a broad range of thinking and information processing brain skills. They provide an opportunity to activate different areas of the brain that people typically do not use in their routine daily life. It is important to seek out opportunities for mental challenge and stimulation. When looking for such a program, look for a program exercising a broad set of skills and check that the company has a strong scientific advisory board behind it. Also, try the exercises to see that you are having fun while exercising. Otherwise, you are unlikely to continue to do them. I liked My Vigorous Mind because it was very easy to use, they have many activities and it is fun. Lumosity is another fun program and MindFit is interesting as it tailors a training program for each user.

Q. I am 48 and I find myself sometimes experiencing problems coming up with names of people and places.

Here's another common question that people ask me. I am 48 and I find myself sometimes experiencing problems coming up with names of people and places. Is this a sign of a memory disorder?
AThis is a concern that many people share and the answer is NO. This is a typical experience in midlife years and beyond. It does not interfere with the ability to function well and have a good and happy life. We need to accept it as we accept other signs of healthy aging and find ways to work around it.

Q. I want to improve my memory. I do a Sudoku every day and crossword puzzles. Do I need to do anything else?

A1I myself do believe that brain games (like sudoku, brain age, etc.) will help all of us to improve our brain function, and later in the future will help to DELAY the degenerative process of our brain.

Here I paste a link related to this topic :
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/08/opinion/08aamodt.html?_r=1

That is, practice can certainly make people better at sudoku puzzles or help them remember lists more accurately. The improvement can even last for years. Similarly, people tend to retain skills and knowledge they learned thoroughly when they were younger. Unless the activities span a broad spectrum of abilities, though, there seems to be no benefit to general mental fitness.

For people whose work is unstimulating, having mentally challenging hobbies, like learning a new language or playing bridge, can help maintain cognitive performance. But the belief that any single brain exercise program late in life can act as a quick fix for general mental function is almost entirely f
A2I often encounter this question, and I wanted to share it with you. These are very good activities that stimulate the brain. You want to engage in additional mental activities that require other types of thinking in order to engage more of your mental capacity. Most importantly, maintaining brain health also depends on other components of healthy life style, such as being physically active, keeping a healthy diet, and reducing stress levels.
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