Alzheimer’s Day 2023: What Is Alzheimer’s? Know Risk Factors, Early Warning Signs And Diagnosis


Every year, on September 21, people celebrate World Alzheimer’s Day throughout the world. This annual event has a vital purpose- it helps to increase knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease, its typical symptoms, and the factors that can raise one’s risk of developing it. Alzheimer’s Disease International, established in 1984, serves as a global organization dedicated to offering assistance and care to individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease, ensuring they receive appropriate treatment and support. To commemorate their tenth year and to further its mission, World Alzheimer’s Day was inaugurated in 1994, and since then, this day has been observed worldwide on September 21.


What Is Alzheimer’s?


Dr Kailas Mirche, who is a Neurologist, at Citizens Specialty Hospital, Hyderabad said, “Alzheimer’s disease is a complex and progressive neurological disorder that primarily affects memory, thinking, and behavior. It is characterized by the accumulation of abnormal protein deposits in the brain, leading to the death of nerve cells and the gradual decline of cognitive function. It is not just a disease of forgetfulness; it is a devastating condition that effects the ability of an individual to perform daily tasks, recognize loved ones, and eventually, even care for themselves.”


“The presence of amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain causes the disrupt communication between neurons and result in cognitive decline. It is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for approximately 60-70% of all cases. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial in Alzheimer’s management, as treatments and interventions can help slow the progression of symptoms and improve the quality of life for affected individuals,” Dr Kailas added.

Early Warning Signs Of Alzheimer’s:

Dr. Anuradha H K, who is a Consultant – Neurology, at Aster CMI Hospital, “Alzheimer’s is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder and it impacts multiple brain functions including memory.  The inability to remember is the initial symptom. It is mainly caused due to shrinkage of the brain. In this condition, symptoms develop gradually over a period of time and eventually turn severe.”

Some of the key symptoms listed by her are:

  • Change in social behaviour
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Getting lost while being outdoors
  • Losing track of time
  • Anger and irritability
  • Difficulty in focusing, thinking, and reasoning
  • Inability to make sensible decisions and judgments
  • Difficulty in completing regular tasks.  For e.g.:  cooking, performing your favourite activity

Diagnosis Of Alzheimer’s:

DrVinit Banga who is an associate director in Neurology and Head Neurovascular intervention centre for neurosciences at BLK -Max Superspeciality Hospital said, “Diagnosing Alzheimer’s involves a comprehensive assessment. A neurologist will evaluate cognitive function, often employing memory tests and brain imaging to rule out other conditions. Early diagnosis enables neurologists to recommend appropriate treatments, including medication and cognitive interventions. It also allows patients and their families to plan for the future and access valuable support services. Research into Alzheimer’s continues to advance, and early diagnosis facilitates participation in clinical trials that may lead to breakthrough treatments.”

Tips To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease:

Dr. Anuradha said, “Studies show Alzheimer’s can be prevented by: Being physically active, developing a hobby, reading, avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol, managing a healthy weight following healthy eating practices, maintaining a socially active life, and getting at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.”

“If you feel there has been a decline in your memory and on a regular basis if you are forgetting or missing on your regular day-to-day activities then you must visit your doctor and get yourself screened for Alzheimer’s disease,” she furtehr added.

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