Too Young to Worry about Alzheimer’s? Get the Facts to Improve Your Future

As part of its commitment to quality care, Emirates Hospitals & Clinics wants to provide education about a global disease that is on the rise in the Gulf region.

Most people think Alzheimer’s Disease only happens to people late in life. Usually, that is true — the disease affects people aged 65 and older. However, growing statistics show patients in their 40s and 50s can have what is known as early-onset Alzheimer’s, impacting five percent of all Alzheimer’s Disease patients.

Alzheimer’s Disease, is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder caused by abnormal deposits of proteins forming amyloid plaques which stops the nerves cells functioning so they lose connections with others and die. The disease, first identified by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906, is the most common form of dementia.

The exact reason for developing Alzheimer’s disease is unknown. Beyond genetic factors as well heart diseases, stroke, high blood pressure, Diabetes, and obesity are considered risk factors.

Before an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, a person may frequently forget things, is mildly confused, has problems with the language, has difficulties to perform tasks, has difficulties remembering and shows personality changes. Sometimes these symptoms are disregarded as typical for ageing, but that is not always the case.

People are not talking about dementia and are hiding which leads to a certain stigmatisation.

The Alzheimer population is predicted to triple worldwide by 2050. Currently, there is no cure, but there are ways to slow the disease from becoming worse.

“While Alzheimer’s in the UAE is not as prevalent as other countries, it is a growing concern for the decades ahead as our younger population ages,” says Dr. Doerthe Schiess, a leading neurologist at Emirates Hospitals & Clinics.

According to 2014 data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Arab Emirates ranks 45th in the world for deaths caused by Alzheimer’s (5.36 deaths per 100,000). The top 20 countries where Alzheimer’s ranks highest in deaths are Scandinavian countries like Finland (53.77 deaths per 100,000), Norway and Sweden, as well as European countries like the United Kingdom, France, Spain and Ireland.

Who is at Risk for Alzheimer’s?

The answer is complex because the cause is unknown. However, a full medical evaluation reviewing the following factors can help doctors know who may be at risk:

● Age

● Genetics

● Family History

● Warning signs like memory loss, mood changes, social withdrawal, poor judgment and others

● Metabolic disease, heart disease

Dr. Schiess promotes early risk detection. “Daily exercise and healthy eating are two important actions that everyone can take now to help slow the prognosis. But if patients know they may be at risk, they can make changes to improve their quality of life, which on average lasts five to ten years after a diagnosis.”

Early awareness also helps the Alzheimer patient’s family since more supervised care and medical attention will be required. This added support is known to create stress for caretakers and affect their health, too.

Young or old, Alzheimer’s will touch a large percentage of global citizens, either as a patient or a loved one, unless a cure is found. That’s why it’s important to know the signs and seek medical advice early.

Emirates Healthcare takes an innovative approach to healthcare, including Alzheimer’s care. With state-of-the-art technologies like brain imaging and genetics testing, Emirates Healthcare can help Alzheimer’s patients with a treatment plan to improve outcomes.

To learn more about the precautions & symptoms , please feel free to contact Dr. Doerthe Schiess Specialist Neurologist, Emirates Hospitals & Clinics at 800 444 444

*Promoted by the Alzheimer’s Disease International and World Health Organization (WHO) organizations.