World Alzheimer’s Day: Know about the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Mind It
5 min read
Hindi Female

World Alzheimer’s Day, which falls on 21 September has been marked as a day to celebrate the efforts of the organisations and people around the globe who have been working to spread awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Reports show that one person develops Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds, and it is also one of the most common forms of dementia.

A person suffering from Alzheimer’s seems to be healthy, but it is very difficult for the patient to make sense of the things going around them. The family or the patient might notice the symptoms of the disease too late at times. The symptoms of an Alzheimer’s patient may differ from person to person. Loss of memory is one of the common symptoms among Alzheimer’s patients.

There are basically three stages of the mental disorder- preclinical or mild, moderate or middle stage, severe or late stage.

Alzheimer's: Causes

Every problem or disease has a root cause but when it comes to Alzheimer’s, the causes are not yet fully understood by even the medical fraternity. What happens is that the brain proteins fail to function which disturbs the normal functioning of the brain cells which leads to the toxic events and death of those brain cells.

The disease starts affecting the brain long before the symptoms are noticed. Loss of memory is the first symptom since Alzheimer’s affects the part that is related to memory. Research has shown that the brain gets shrunk by the last stage of Alzheimer’s.

People of older age have a greater risk of getting Alzheimer’s. Other causes may be any head-related trauma, air pollution, poor lifestyle, poor sleeping patterns, etc.


Common Symptoms of Alzheimer’s include:

  • Memory Loss: The patient tends to forget the smallest of things or any recently learned information. It might include their own names or names of their family members, important dates or events, rules of a common game, functioning of a simple gadget like a T.V. remote, etc. They may end up asking the same questions again and again or taking the help of alarms and reminders for completing their daily tasks.

  • Difficulty in Speaking & Writing: It can be difficult for them to continue a conversation or start a conversation on their own. There might be cases where they stop while speaking. They struggle to read or write the language they have been using for years. Something that stays at the tip of the tongue for common people becomes a problem for them.

  • Confusion: Patients suffering from dementia end up getting confused on a daily basis. They find it difficult to keep a track of time, days, and events. There can be instances that they forget where they are, how did they reach there or what were they doing a few minutes ago.

  • Difficulty in Socialising: Alzheimer’s patients slowly start withdrawing themselves from any group activities. They might find it difficult to talk to their friends, continue a conversation in a group or enjoy doing an activity for fun. They prefer staying alone and do not go out in public frequently.

  • Difficulty in daily Life: Leading a normal life can become difficult. They struggle to remember the common things, follow their daily routine or even keep a track of their monthly bills. They may struggle to solve simple maths problems or remembering a recipe for a dish.

It's important to remember that symptoms differ from person to person.


Alzheimer's: Treatment

Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed only when the symptoms are closely observed by family members or examined by the doctor through memory and analytical tests.

  • There is no definite cure for Alzheimer’s. There have been researches on medicines and drugs that can delay the onset of the disease, but a definite cure is still to be found.

  • The disease can be prevented from getting worse by making a few changes in the daily life of the patient. The patient must exercise regularly, consume healthy and nutritious food and beverages for a healthy heart.

  • People suffering from Alzheimer’s must participate in activities like reading books, listening to songs, walking daily, playing with the children, and so on.

  • A patient feels better with the people around who support them, care for them instead of forcing them to remember things or do things a certain way. Besides their physical needs, they also fight their emotions of confusion, anxiety, irritability every day and they need their close ones while they go through all of it.

  • There are a few drugs that help to keep the symptoms of Alzheimer’s in control. Aducanumab, the first drug to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can target and destroy the plaques in the brain. However, there has been criticism of the drug from several quarters. Check with your doctor for the right prescription and updates on latest in Alzheimer's treatment.


Diet & Nutrition

  • Cognitive deterioration is one of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Other factors include diabetes, heart related risks, obesity and high blood pressure. These symptoms can be controlled with the right diet and nutrients. One must consume soups, smoothies, hummus and sauces made of green leafy vegetables, nuts like walnuts, peanuts, almonds filled with healthy fats.

  • Seeds like sunflower seeds, cumin and pumpkin seeds filled with omega-3s, antioxidants can be consumed with salads, smoothies and desserts to improve the brain health.

  • Food items like processed meals, red meats, saturated items, refined sweets or desserts should not be consumed by the Alzheimer’s patient. One can discuss with a doctor and plan the diet of the patient accordingly.


Yoga & Exercise

  • Patients can practice a few yoga poses from the comfort of their homes. A few of the easy yoga poses are- vajra Sana, shirshasana, Vrikshasana, Siddhasana and Paschimottanasana. These yoga poses help to keep the mind at peace, cure acidity and digestive issues and may help ease any joint or muscle pains.

  • Paschimottanasana increases the blood flow towards the head, keeping the mind and body calm and relieves anxiety, insomnia and depression.

  • Yoga has been proven to be of great help to the patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.

  • Meditation and mindfulness can cure the symptoms like anxiety, confusion, agitation and keep a check on their stress levels.


It is important to remember that while there are no medicines to cure Alzheimer’s, doctors prescribe medicines according to the more dominant symptoms like depression, anxiety, agitation, insomnia, etc. It is important to offer support, care, regular health checkups. The role of a caregiver becomes crucial.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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