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Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness

By June 21, 2024June 23rd, 2024No Comments3 min read
Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month 2024

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month 2024

Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder characterized by changes in the brain causing a decline in memory, thinking, and learning over time. The changes in the brain cause a deposit of certain proteins that lead to a shrinkage or death of brain cells.

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease

The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not known but in simple terms, brain proteins fail to function as they should. This failure disrupts the function of the brain cells triggering a series of events such as death due to damage and loss of connection to each other.

Eventually, the brain struggles to cope with the damage and the individual starts to experience challenges with learning and thinking.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia

While these terms are used interchangeably, it is important to know that they refer to two different conditions. Alzheimer’s is a specific disease while dementia refers to a group of similar diseases.

Put, every case of Alzheimer’s is dementia but dementia is not Alzheimer’s.

While Alzheimer´s affects most parts of the brain, Dementia affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain – those generally associated with an individual’s personality.

It is important to note that Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia.

Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms

In the early stages, the most common symptom is memory lapses that may disrupt life.

An Individual may:

  • Forget about the conversations they had
  • Have difficulties making decisions or show poor judgement
  • Losing or misplacing items
  • Asks questions repetitively
  • Forgets the names of people, places and objects

Mid- Stage Symptoms

As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, memory problems may become increasingly worse. An individual may struggle to remember the names of people, places and even family members.

More symptoms include:

  • Increased repetitve behaviour
  • Increased confusion and disorientation for example getting lost, not knowing what time of day it is.
  • Speech and language problems; aphasia.
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Hallucination – seeing or hearing things that other people are not

Late Stage Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms


  • Inability to speak – an individual completely loses the ability to speak in a way that makes sense. 
  • Require assistance with daily tasks e.g eating, drinking, dressing etc
  • Decline in physical abilities e.g walking without needing assistance.

Alzheimer’s risk factors

  • Increasing age is the main risk facor
  • Down Syndrome – Individuals with Down Syndrome develop Alzheimer’s.
  • Genetic
  • Diabetes
  • Traumatic Head Injury
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Head Trauma
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Poor sleep patterns are linked to increased risk


Alzheimer’s disease treatment and medication

There is no cure for Alzheimers but medicines may be prescribed to relieve the symptoms. However, these only one part of the care. Other treatments may involve activites and therapies such as:


Cognitive Stimulation Therapy

This involves taking part in group activities and exercises to improve memory and problem-solving skills. 

Cognitive rehabilitation involves working with a trained professional such as an Occupational Therapist to achieve certain goals such as learning everyday tasks or using a phone.

Talking to a counsellor to help manage moods and feelings may help.

Staying active by exercising, managing stress and maintaining social connections is beneficial.



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