Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disease of the nervous system, caused by the deposition of pathological proteins in the brain structures.
More than 500 000 people suffer from dementia in Poland, of which 250 000 are people with Alzheimer’s. The most important risk factor is age, with the disease peak observed among people between 65 to 85 years of age.
Clinically, this disease manifests itself in variety of forms – impaired memory, behavioral disturbances and inability to function independently in everyday life.
In short, the course of dementia can be divided into 3 phases:
In addition to problems related to cognitive functions such as:
there are also emotional sphere disorders manifested in:
- emotional instability
- psychomotor agitation.
It is precisely these hyperactivity states together with attacks of agitation and verbal arousal that often raise the most difficulties for the caregivers in everyday care, especially since the effects of pharmacological treatment are often not satisfactory.
The preparations available on the market related to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease have been, so far, only symptomatic – that means, that they enhance the functioning of properly working neurons.
However, as time passes and as the loss of healthy neurons progresses, the effects of such treatment become weaker and weaker and the gradual mental degradation of the patient becomes an inevitable outcome.
Thanks to the advances in medicine and developing clinical trials, there is hope for the new drugs that will be aimed at the cause of dementia, which is an abnormal protein that accumulates in the structures of the brain and damages nerve cells.
Symptomatic treatment of agitation states is also extremely important, both from the patients’ perspective as well as their families and caregivers.
Also in this field, we can observe a constant progress in the search for the most effective preparations in order to improve the comfort of patients suffering from this disease.