Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 11-07-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 ALZHEIMER'S AWARENESS GUIDE NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019 | THE VALLEY BREEZE ALZHEIMER'S AWARENESS | BASICS People with Alzheimer's often see symptoms develop slowly, worsening as the dis- ease progresses. It will even- tually become severe enough that people suffering from it are unable to perform daily tasks or remembering their family members' names, according to the Alzheimer's Association. It is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., which makes it important to know what to look for and what to know about it. The disease usually starts in the area of the brain that controls learn- ing; because of this, the first symptom typically to be noticed is difficulty retaining new information. As the dis- ease progresses, more severe symptoms arise; these include serious memory loss, disorientation, confusion about the past, changes in mood and behavior, paranoia or suspicions, and difficulty with the most basic physical actions like swallowing or speaking. The greater risk factor for Alzheimer's is age; the highest incidence of the disease occurs in people 65 years of age and older. This isn't always the case, however; according to the association, about 200,000 Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's when they were younger than 65. It's not uncommon for peo- ple to experience changes in thinking, memory loss or greater difficulty in move- ment or regular tasks as peo- ple age, so it can be hard to differentiate between early symptoms of Alzheimer's or other dementia, which start out mild, and the normal effects of aging. It is even harder for the affected person to notice any changes, so family members and regular visitors should keep watch on loved ones who are getting older. Although there isn't a cure, early diagnosis helps with treatment, so see a doc- tor right away if you suspect a loved one may be experienc- ing the early stages of Alzheimer's. It's also good for the person afflicted with the disease to know early on, while they still have their fac- ulties, so they can participate in their own care decisions and management of the dis- ease. What Is Alzheimer's? Alzheimer's disease is in the dementia family of disorders. It is a progressive brain disorder that destroys brain cells over time, leading to memory loss, changes in thinking, inability to care for one's self and the loss of many other brain functions. As of now, there is no cure for Alzheimer's. © ADOBE STOCK Content Produced by Green Shoot Media. © 2019 ALZHEIMER'S AWARENESS | BASICS

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