Alzheimer’s Disease
Monday, November 17, 2008

Alzheimer’s disease not only affects the person who has the disease, it affects the entire family. The demands of caring for a spouse or parent with Alzheimer’s can be physically, emotionally and financially draining. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about Alzheimer’s disease in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition that damages areas of the brain involved in memory, intelligence, judgment, language and behavior. It is the most common form of mental decline in older adults.

Alzheimer’s disease affects not only memory, but also behavior, personality, ability to think and the ability to function from day to day.

People suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s disease may suffer from memory loss, get confused about what time and day it is or get lost in familiar places.

As the disease progresses, these symptoms get worse. Hallucinations, delusions and paranoia are common. Some people may become verbally or physically aggressive or abusive.

New diagnostic and treatment modalities are available for Alzheimer’s disease, but there is no cure.  Families provide most of the daily care needs of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.  This care includes ensuring that the person is in a safe, healthy environment; providing basic care and assistance with eating, dressing, bathing, using the bathroom and other daily activities.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.