Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a degenerative disease characterized by a sharp decline in intellectual ability. It is one of the most common reasons for the development of dementia in elderly and senile persons. The prevalence of this disease is steadily increasing with age. According to global trends, in the next 30 years, the number of AD patients can be expected to increase by 3-4 times to 131.5 million people in 2050 (Martins et al., 2019). It allows AD to be considered a pandemic of the 21st century (Martins et al., 2019). AD is diagnosed in only 1% of cases, which leads to untimely and inadequate treatment of patients. Diagnosis and treatment of AD are among the most pressing problems of modern medicine.
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The symptoms appear gradually; at the initial stages of the development of dementia, the patient may not feel serious problems.
With the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, memory deteriorates, an inability to concentrate develops, disruptions in cognitive processes, orientation in time and space, and acquired skills are lost (National Institute on Aging (NIA), 2019). In most cases, Alzheimer’s disease occurs after 45 years, but recently, doctors have noted the appearance of the disease in younger people.
AD therapy is a complex problem for both doctors and patients. The doctors’ issues are associated with a low level of knowledge in this area, while the timeliness and correctness of diagnosis, the adequacy of the prescribed therapy. In turn, patients seek help late because of the early decline in criticism of their condition, and relatives are usually poorly informed. AD treatment should be provided in an elaborate manner using different preparations, aiming at the most critical disease development (Khachaturian & Rudabaugh, 2019). The choice of practice at the stage of dementia should satisfy all the principles of primary therapy. These requirements are currently met by two groups of preparations: acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and memantine, a reversible NMDA receptor inhibitor.
To summarize, Alzheimer’s disease is a severe neurodegenerative disease with a steadily progressive course. AD course has a staged nature, during which an integrated approach to therapy is required. Therefore, an important component of comprehensive treatment of cognitive impairment is a close interaction of a doctor, patient, his family, psychologists, and social workers. It ensures higher adherence to therapy and, as a consequence, its greater effectiveness.
Khachaturian, Z. S., & Rudabaugh, T. S. (2019). Alzheimer’s Disease: Cause(s), Diagnosis, Treatment, and Care. CRC Press.
Martins, R. N., Brennan, C. S., Fernando, B., Brennan, M. A., & Fuller, S. J. (2019). Neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s Disease: The Role of Diabetes, Genetics, Hormones, and Lifestyle. John Wiley & Sons.
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National Institute on Aging (NIA). (2019). How Does Alzheimer’s Disease Affect the Brain? [Infographic]. Web.