Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease of the Central Nervous System, characterized by gradual loss of memory and restriction of the rest of the mental functions of the brain. It is a disease that manifests itself mainly at ages over 65 years but can also occur at a younger age. In recent decades, due to the increase in life expectancy, it tends to take on epidemic proportions. Initial symptoms are mild impairment of memory and other cognitive functions that often go unnoticed. Gradually the disease progresses, because of which activities are reduced more and more, while other symptoms are manifested, such as aggression, apathy, sleep and appetite disorders, hyperactivity. In the final stage, the patient may be completely dependent on others. Early diagnosis is very important to be able to offer better quality of life. It should be noted that there are also mixed dementias, i.e., symptoms of Alzheimer’s dementia along with manifestations of vascular dementia, which constitute 20% of cases.
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is made by a Neurologist, who investigates in detail its history, conducts a neurological examination, and excludes other possible causes. Then he/she performs Neuropsychological Tests, checks special blood tests that he/she has requested and a brain MRI in which atrophy (shrinkage) of the hippocampus (formation of the brain related to memory) and the cerebral cortex may be seen.
For the control of the disease, depending on its stage, the following may be administered: Nootropic drugs, antioxidants and vitamins, Central Cholinesterase Inhibitors, Memantine etc., with the aim of improving or stabilizing symptoms. The Neurologist continues to monitor the patient, to treat behavioral and mobility disorders with individually specialized treatments.