August 6, 2020
It is the most common cause of dementia and it is estimated that from 60 years old ahead, a person has a 2% to 6% chance of developing the disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder in which brain cells degenerate and die. Those who suffer from this pathology gradually lose their thinking and behavior skills, which ends up affecting the patient’s independence to perform their daily activities. Now, can the development and progress of the disease be delayed?
Age is the main risk factor. From 60 years old ahead, a person has a 2% to 6% chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Multiple studies estimate that by 2030, approximately 74.5 million people will suffer from this disorder.
While the causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not known exactly, it is believed to arise from a combination of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors. The risk is a bit higher if there is a history in first-degree relatives (parents or siblings).
Lack of exercise, obesity, smoking, blood pressure and high cholesterol, and poorly controlled type 2 diabetes are related to heart disease, which increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Another risk group, vulnerable to developing this pathology, are those who have suffered a head injury.
So far there is no treatment that can cure Alzheimer’s disease or reverse its progressive evolution. However, there are measures to support the patient, their caregivers and families, such as early diagnosis for good treatment, optimizing physical health, cognition, activity, and well-being, as well as identifying and treating related physical diseases.
Some medications such as Rivastigmine or Galantamine may decrease symptoms or delay the decline in abilities. Another therapeutic method that can improve the quality of life of Alzheimer’s patients is Hyperbaric Oxygenation Treatment, which consists of breathing high concentrations of oxygen in a cabin or chamber. The greater availability of oxygen reaches all tissues, including those affected, accelerating the recovery of different pathologies.
Alzheimer’s disease is associated with significant inflammation of the brain and an increase in oxidative stress (cell wear). Experimental studies have shown that hyperbaric chamber treatment:
- Delays the progression of symptoms
- Increases antioxidant defense and protects the cell
- Decreases inflammation and damage of neurons
- It improves the patient’s quality of life
Incorporating hyperbaric oxygenation treatment at the first signs of Alzheimer’s can prevent the development and increase of neuronal deterioration. In this way, an improvement in the patient’s quality of life and family environment is achieved, by delaying the loss of memory.
Forget recent conversations or events.
Repeat expressions and questions.
Forget responsibilities or events and not remember them later.
Lose personal items or store them in strange places.
Get lost in known places.
Difficulty concentrating on abstract concepts such as finance and numbers in general.
Decreased ability to make decisions.
Forget the names of family members and everyday objects.
Having trouble finding the right words to identify objects, express thoughts or participate in conversations.
Forgetting how to perform basic tasks.
It should be noted that Alzheimer’s patients can also present behavioral changes such as depression, apathy, social isolation, mood swings, distrust in others, irritability and aggressiveness, changes in sleep patterns, disorientation, disinhibition, and delusions. It is essential to detect behavioral changes in time and go quickly to the health center.
Advised: Leonardo Ramallo- BioBarica doctor. (MN 131079)
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Wu ZS et al, Int. Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2018
Zhao B et al, Yunsei Med, 2017
Zhang LD et al, Chinese Medical Journal, 2015