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Life Expectancy for Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia

alzheimer’s disease

Dementia is a disease in which the cognitive (ability to think) abilities of the patient are impaired. Dementia causes a gradual deterioration in memory, mental abilities, the ability to navigate in time and space, and the ability to recognize people and objects. It happens that dementia turns into Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, a condition in which the brain stops functioning properly. Alzheimer’s disease causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. In the early stages, the symptoms of dementia may be minimal. But as the disease affects the brain more and more, the symptoms worsen, and cognitive decline occurs. The rate at which the disease progresses varies from person to person, but the average life expectancy after diagnosis is eight years.

Globally, at least 44 million people live with dementia, making it a global problem that needs attention. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease dramatically changes the person’s life and his family and friends. However, information and support are available to everyone. Nobody should deal with Alzheimer’s and dementia one-on-one.                                              

While there is currently no cure that can stop the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia disease, there are medications that can alleviate the symptoms. Over the past three decades, dementia research has led to a deeper understanding of how Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain. Today, researchers continue to look for more effective treatments and measures to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and improve brain health.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

Memory problems, particularly difficulty remembering newly learned information, are often the first signs of Alzheimer’s.

As we age, changes occur in our brains, and sometimes it can be difficult to remember certain details. However, Alzheimer’s and dementia disease causes memory loss and other serious symptoms that interfere with the normal performance of daily functions. These symptoms are not natural to normal age-related changes.

In addition to memory loss, symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • Problems with completing tasks that were not difficult before.
  • Difficulty solving problems.
  • Changes in mood and character, distance from family and friends.
  • Problems with verbal and written communication.
  • Problems with recognizing places, people, restoring the sequence of events.
  • Changes in visual perception, such as difficulty interpreting an image.

Family and friends may notice the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia earlier than the person experiencing such changes. If you or someone you know is experiencing possible symptoms of dementia, it is essential to get a medical examination to determine the cause.

Alzheimer’s disease and the brain 

Brain cells in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory region, are often the first to be affected in Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, memory loss, especially difficulty remembering recently learned information, and cognitive decline are usually the first signs of illness.

alzheimers and dementia

Diagnostics of Alzheimer’s and dementia

It is necessary to see a doctor as soon as possible to prolong the expectancy of a patient with dementia. In case of memory and mental impairment of usually well-performed skills, it is recommended that you first consult your family doctor. If possible, the patient needs to come to the doctor with a human who will help describe the changes as an outside observer; this will help confirm the diagnosis. The patient himself may underestimate some of the problems or forget to share them with the doctor. The doctor may ask a human to fill out a questionnaire about the patient’s behavior and daily activity over the past six months.

Tell your family doctor:

  • What is the main problem due to which you go to the doctor?
  • How long does it take for these problems to appear?
  • What was the first sign that something was wrong?
  • How has human behavior changed?
  • How much does he need outside help in everyday life?
  • Does he have mood swings, thoughts of suicide, joy, aggressive behavior?
  • Are there any comorbidities, and what medications, including dietary supplements, are they taking?
  • How and at what age did family members develop dementia?

The family doctor evaluates the memory disorder with the Mini-Mental State Examination. 

  • The test assesses the ability to navigate in space and time, attention and memory, and the ability to plan the activities necessary for the task. 
  • The maximum number of points in the test is 30; a result of 24 or less will indicate dementia. To analyze the results, the doctor considers the patient’s educational level, knowledge of languages, ​​and other possible factors affecting the level of task completion. 

The test can determine the severity of dementia: mild, moderate orsevere.

Testing Alzheimer’s and dementia 

The test also does not provide information about the causes of memory impairment. This will require additional surveys.

With the help of a blood test, you can investigate any other diseases, such as:

  • low thyroid function;
  • anemia;
  • vitamin deficiencies; 
  • infectious diseases (for example, borreliosis, syphilis, AIDS);, 
  • cause of memory problems;
  • low thyroid function; 
  • anemia;
  • vitamin deficiency, etc. 

With proper treatment of the above diseases, memory impairment can back down to one degree or another.

If necessary, the family doctor will refer the patient to a specialist in memory impairment (neurologist, psychiatrist, geriatrician).

  • A patient with suspected Alzheimer’s and dementia disease undergoes a general head examination (computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging) to rule out other brain diseases (e.g., brain tumor, chronic hemorrhage, hydrocephalus).
  • If the diagnosis remains unclear, the doctor may refer the patient for a neuropsychological evaluation by a clinical psychologist. Tests carried out during the examination will help determine exactly which type of memory impairment is present in the patient. A neuropsychological evaluation is only good for patients with mild dementia syndrome and early-onset patients. For patients in advanced stages of the disease, the tests can be overwhelming.
  • Treatment for Alzheimer’s and dementia slows down its development. The sooner the disease is detected, and treatment is started, the longer the patient’s ability to cope with daily activities remains. This allows humans and caregivers more time to adapt to the changing lifestyle and think through the essential issues that inevitably arise at the end of life.

Alzheimer’s disease progresses slowly. The late stage of the disease is formed over an average of five to ten years. This condition is considered an end-of-life stage that cannot be cured, and life prolongation by various medical procedures is not considered ethically acceptable.

Alzheimer’s and dementia risk factors

While doctors still don’t know why some people get Alzheimer’s and others don’t, research has helped better understand what factors make a person more vulnerable to the disease.

Age Old age is a major risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Most people with this disease are at least 65 years of age.

Although much less common, this disease can begin before the age of 65. It is estimated that the number of such patients is up to 5%. Often, manifestations of dementia at a younger age are misdiagnosed.

Heredity If any of your parents or siblings suffer from dementia, you are more likely to get the disease than those who do not have such immediate family members. Scientists do not fully understand the causes of familial cases of Alzheimer’s, but genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors may play a role.
Genetic factor Scientists have identified several genes whose mutations increase the risk of developing dementia. The APOE e4 of the is the most common gene for the risk of Alzheimer’s disease; it is estimated that it played a role in developing the disease in about a quarter of cases.

Unlike the risk gene, the determinant gene guarantees the development of the disease.

There was only one known case when Alzheimer’s disease arose due to the inheritance of a determinant gene. The development of dementia due to a determining gene rarely occurs in less than 1% of cases. Alzheimer’s disease, caused by a determinant gene, is called autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease.

Moderate cognitive impairment Symptoms of cognitive decline include changes in thought processes, but they do not interfere with daily functions and are not as severe as in Alzheimer’s or other progressive dementia. Having mild cognitive impairments, especially those associated with memory problems, increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. However, mild cognitive impairment does not always progress. In some cases, they are reversible or remain at the same level.
Cardiovascular diseases Research suggests that brain health is directly related to cardiovascular health. The brain receives oxygen and nutrients necessary for normal functioning through the blood, and the heart is responsible for the flow of blood to the brain. Therefore, the causes that lead to cardiovascular disease may be related to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These include smoking, being overweight, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure in middle age.
Education level and Alzheimer’s disease Research has established a link between fewer years of formal education and an increased risk of dementia. While there is no obvious reason for this dependence, some scientists suggest that more years of formal education may help strengthen the connection between neurons, allowing the brain to use alternative neuron-to-neuron signaling pathways for the changes caused by Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Traumatic brain injury The risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is increased due to moderate to severe head injuries, such as blows to the head or other skull injuries that result in loss of memory or consciousness for more than 30 minutes. Road traffic accidents cause 50% of all head injuries. Those constantly hit in the head and other traumatic brain injuries, such as athletes or combatants, are also at increased risk of developing dementia and cognitive impairment.

alzheimer

Ways to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia

Dementia is often called a worldwide catastrophe, which is just waiting in the wings and the main medical problem of the current generation.

Every four seconds, someone on Earth is diagnosed with dementia, and the number of sufferers is expected to skyrocket from 44 million to 135 million by 2050. The disease costs the world $ 604 billion every year. In order to prevent it, you need to undergo: 

  • Early diagnosis
  • Early diagnosis will be the key to fighting Alzheimer’s and dementia. When a doctor informs a patient that they have dementia, the patient may feel that the disease is very early. This is not necessarily the case. Memory problems begin to appear only 10-15 years after the onset of the disease. By this time, a fifth of the key memory centers in the brain are usually already dead.
  • This explains why drugs, in most cases, are ineffective; the disease is diagnosed too late. Neurologists believe that the priority is to focus on the early stage of treatment. Some results have already been achieved in this area. However, the most difficult moment is using the results obtained to combat the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • A study is also being conducted to determine the composition of chemicals in the blood that indicate the onset of the disease. Dementia is a variety of diseases. Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and Lewy body dementia (abnormal protein formations are called) have similar symptoms but different treatments. Thus, scientists will need to apply different technologies for each type of disease.
  • Stop brain dying
  • Until a drug was invented, that could stop or even slow down dementia. Two types of Alzheimer’s drugs have failed to deliver the expected results in improving brain function. However, some think that medications that work in the early stages of the disease will work better. Therefore, new trials are aimed at monitoring patients with a mild form of senile dementia.
  • If the drug proves to be effective, it will be used the same way that statins are used today for the heart. Healing dementia seems like a distant dream, but even slowing the progression of the disease can fundamentally change the patient’s life expectancy.

How to treat Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

One of the drugs that slow the progression of dementia is memantine. It was developed and approved for use in the United States in 2003. Since then, nothing new has been developed. There are certainly other drugs that help people live with dementia, but they are not enough. It is necessary to develop drugs that would treat symptoms and slow the progression of the disease in the same way as it is done after a heart attack.

  • To reduce your risk of lung cancer, you must first quit smoking. You need to lead an active lifestyle and eat right to avoid a heart attack. What should be done to avoid getting sick with Alzheimer’s and dementia? Alas, there is no answer to this question.
  • Age is undoubtedly a risk factor. In Britain, one in three people aged 95 and over suffers from dementia, but no one knows how to help these people.

It is essential to monitor your heart to reduce damage to your blood vessels. Therefore, avoid obesity, do not smoke, exercise regularly, and monitor your cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels.

Quality patient care. Alzheimer’s and dementia are incredibly costly to society. But medical bills are only a small part of the damage because it is necessary to consider the time the patient’s relatives spend caring for the patient and the associated loss of earnings.

Therefore, part of the research aims to develop an approach that would allow patients to remain independent as long as possible. The study of the disease has shown that with the correct training of medical personnel, patient intake can be halved. In order to improve the living conditions of people with senile dementia, it is essential to seriously research patient care and support.

FAQ

  • What is the average life expectancy for people with Alzheimer’s?

Life expectancy for each person with Alzheimer’s varies. In general, the average life expectancy after diagnosis is 8 to 10 years; however, it can be from 3 to 20 years in some cases. In addition, Alzheimer’s disease can go undetected for several years. The average time between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis is 2.8 years.

  • Where does Alzheimer’s disease come from?

The cause of Alzheimer’s disease can be a low level of substances involved in the transmission of nerve impulses, various brain tumors, poisoning with poisonous metals. The main cause of Alzheimer’s disease is a genetic predisposition; it is inherited.

  • Who is prone to Alzheimer’s disease?

As a rule, Dementia with Alzheimer’s disease is found in people over 65 years old, but there is also early Alzheimer’s disease – from 55 years old.

  • What disease can cause symptoms of amnesia, difficulty performing simple tasks, speech disorders, lack of interest in life?

This can be the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. But in order to be sure of this, you should consult a doctor so that he makes an accurate diagnosis and conducts the necessary tests.

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Lone Star Neurology
4.4
Based on 617 reviews
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Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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