Q: What is the difference between Alzheimer's and Dementia?
- Dementia is a loss of thinking, remembering, and reasoning skills that interfere with a person's daily life and activities. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia.
Q: What is Sundowning?
- Changes in people with Alzheimer's in the late afternoon and early evening. The fading light seems to trigger a response in Alzheimer's patients. Look out for changing behavior around these times and let their doctor know. Also as a caregiver you could be experiencing these symptoms, this is normal for you.
Q: What are the causes of Alzheimer's disease?
- Scientists do not fully understand what causes Alzheimer's disease in most people.
- In early-onset (which occurs in people between 30s and mid-60s) there may be a genetic component. Late-onset Alzheimer's (which usually develops in a person's mid-60s) arise from a complex series of brain changes that occur over decades.
Q: Is there a way to prevent Alzheimer's disease?
- Currently, there is no definitive prevention. Scientists are interested in the possibility that a healthy lifestyle might delay, slow down, or even prevent Alzheimer's. They are also studying the role of social activity and intellectual stimulation in Alzheimer's disease risk.
Q: I keep forgetting things, could I have Alzheimer's?
- Most of us forget things every day; like people's names, where we put our car keys, but this is necessarily a sign of Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. Memory loss is more serious than forgetting things occasionally. It is memory loss that starts to interfere with everyday life; such as getting lost when taking the dog for a walk.
Q: Does Alzheimer's run in the family?
- Alzheimer's is more common as people get older; however there is a familial connection. But it does not mean you will have it even if someone else in your family has it.
Q: What should I eat to lower my risk?
- A balanced diet is an important way to keep healthy. Consult a doctor before changing or starting a dieting regiment
Q: Should I keep my brain active or take up hobbies to lower my chances of getting Alzheimer's?
- This is a good idea. Several studies show the link between mentally stimulating activities and a lower risk of Alzheimer's. Other studies show spending more time studying helps lower the risk. Research is still ongoing in these areas. IF you specific questions please contact your primary healthcare provider.
Q: Where can I go to get further information?
- If you are worried, it is always good to ask your primary healthcare provider. They can give advice, run tests and refer you to a specialist if needed.