In 1906 Dr Alois Alzheimer first identified the disease known as Alzheimer’s disease. It is a progressive and the most common cause of dementia (a chronic disorder of mental process) usually starts slowly and get worse day by day. People with Alzheimer’s have a deficiency of some important chemicals in their brain that helps to transmit the flow of signals around the brain. And when there is a shortage of these chemicals, the flows of signals are not transmitted effectively.
How common is Alzheimer’s disease?
According to the statistical report from Alzheimer’s Association, there are an estimated 5.3 million Americans affected by this disease and two- thirds of them are women. An estimated 5.1 million people are age 65 and approximately 200,000 people are below the age of 65.
Every 67 seconds someone in the US develops the disease.1 in 3 dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Alzheimer’s accounts for between 60% and 80% of all cases of dementia and as the population of the US ages, it is becoming a more common cause of death.
What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?
It is a neurodegenerative disease that may damage brain cells. For most people, the earliest symptom is forgetting recent events (also known as short-term memory loss). Other symptoms include problem-solving ability, language problem, and difficulty with thinking, mood swings, behavioral issues, loss of motivation and not managing self-care.
As these symptoms develop, a person withdraws himself from family and society. Gradually more parts of the brain are damaged, ultimately leading to death. The early damage is usually to a part of the brain, which has a central role in day-to-day memory, called the hippocampus. The person may forget birthdays or anniversaries, lose items around the house, forget someone’s name, struggle to find the correct word in conversation and many more.
Alzheimer’s Unavoidable Risk Factors:
- Inheritance of genes (having it in the family) is the second biggest risk factor after age
- Having a certain gene (the apolipoprotein E or APOE gene) puts a person at three to eight times more risk than a person without the gene.
Peanut butter test:
Peanut butter is used for making tasty sandwiches or snacks. Could a scoop of peanut butter and a ruler become Alzheimer’s diagnostic test?
In October 2013, the peanut butter test (a diagnostic test) was originally reported by researchers from the University of Florida’s McKnight Brain Institute, led by Professor Kenneth Heilman. The researchers at the end of their study concluded that patients with Alzheimer’s were not able to smell peanut butter
While studying under Professor Heilman, Jennifer Stamps a graduate student discovered that a small dollop of peanut butter and a ruler can save their patients life. The test aims to detect early stages of Alzheimer’s. She realized that those with Alzheimer’s disease had difficult smelling out of their left nostril. But they could smell the fragrance from 20 centimeters away in their right nostril and for left it had to be 10 centimeters closer to the nose than for the right nostril.
*The test is very simple and cost free. People can easily perform at home.
Note: In Alzheimer’s disease, the first thing to diminish is the first cranial nerve that controls a sense of smell. If a person loses that ability it could mean that he is experiencing the first signs of the condition.
Alzheimer’s can be torture for everyone suffering from this disease, so please share this ‘’peanut butter test’’ to raise awareness.
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