Friday, September 23, 2022 | 11:30 a.m.
World Alzheimer’s Day seeks to raise awareness and awareness about a disease that increasingly affects more people around the world. Globally, more than 55 million people (8.1% of women and 5.4% of men over 65) live with mental illness, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) . In addition, it is estimated that this figure will increase to 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050. In our country the figures rise to 503,000 people in 2015 with a projection of more than one million by 2050.
The neurologist, Hugo Solís, spoke with the program Here we will tell you by Radioactiva 100.7 and provided recommendations to both patients and family members.
“To talk about Alzheimer’s is to talk about the form of dementia, a neurodegenerative disease, the most frequent of the entire group, it covers approximately 80% of all dementias. It is a slowly progressive disease, it is not a fast-course dementia, it is a slow-course dementia and in general the age peak would be from 65 years, but that does not mean that there are no cases of early-onset Alzheimer’s that these are precisely the cases where it is thought that there is a greater hereditary component and of course we see those cases but they are the exception”, he explained.
In addition, the professional recalled that it is a multifactorial disease, it really has many causes that can be presented, “it is quite complex. There are types of forgetfulness that happen and more so in this time that we are in multiple activities and that obviously lowers the quality of the attention level of things but that does not necessarily mean a problem, but rather it is a problem of attention due to multitasking that we are developing. Emphasizing a little on the symptom of Alzheimer’s disease that is forgetfulness, there are some that one does not have to give so much importance to, but when these forgetfulness are already hindering and have an impact on the person’s work, it begins to have another connotation, and at the same time memory begins to play a role in the impact at work, so in the face of these signs, yes or yes, you have to consult a doctor”.
“The ideal thing would be for him to consult a neurologist because he is going to ask for a complete laboratory, ask for brain MRI, brain tomography, a neuropsychologist studying the different areas of memory, the trial of the patient’s abstract thought, he is seeing point by point in the memory and see where the patient may be failing”, he stressed.
Solís added that the consultation is always encouraged to channel a treatment that, although at the moment there is no treatment that is curative, the treatment is symptomatic, “but we have already begun to order the quality of life a little. The disease also has different stages, it has pre-symptomatic stages where the biological change is taking place in the cell, in the neurons, there are still no clinical manifestations and then it begins to have stages where the symptoms are very mild, some occasional forgetfulness and gradually it adds impact on the quality of life due to disorientation, loss of judgment, and behavioral disorders where you also have to medicate because you begin to be unaware and with that the quality of life of the patient and the caregivers is improved, it seems to me that it is a way to go transiting the disease in another way”
“There are many advances at the moment in terms of therapeutics, very important studies are being carried out throughout the world in the direction of this proteinopathy, which is where the accumulations of proteins that affect Alzheimer’s are formed, so I think there will be important news soon” , he emphasized.
Treatments and procedures
In Argentina, the Anmat has approved two types of treatment that improve symptoms, “but studies in the world are going very fast and we cannot rule out that we have news. The current treatment is only against the symptom, in Argentina we probably do not have a treatment that is a cure for the disease or that we can delay the disease. It is still a bit complex, a lot of drugs aimed at this are already being mobilized and phase three studies are underway ”.
“Depending on the behavioral disorders that the patient has, there has to be a communication channel permeable to the family, to talk, to be able to chat, to be able to get together and understand that it is undoubtedly a very difficult process, but the idea is to put into words, find therapeutic spaces , where there may also be a psychologist, participating, helping the family to go through that pain, to understand that it is a bit of the illness of the moment, to manage that frustration, anxieties and accompany that loved one to go through something that they did not want or He has been looking for it,” he said.
The neurologist stressed that he encourages health care and everything that is good for the heart and the brain, “because it is not the same to go through Alzheimer’s disease in a person who is in good health than in someone who he never took care of himself, obviously other damage will be added there and it will really become much more difficult to prosecute a treatment with that patient “
“Doing what you like the most, having a social life helps a lot since many times the patient begins to stop seeing his friends, he begins to stop connecting with those things that he liked, so doing it stimulates the brain. The worst thing there is is demotivation, humor is restorative of many things and apart from that, it makes things out there not be as terrible or as tragic as we sometimes take it and helps to be more softened, “he detailed.
Finally, he considered that taking the patient to a clinic or institute for treatment always depends on the characteristics of the patient, “in the early stages he is always at home, you begin to see the memory problem, the cognitive failures, but it also depends a lot on the personality because if it has a more aggressive, more difficult tint since before the disease, it is likely that this characteristic helps the decision to be much faster and the advice may become hospitalization so that it can be controlled”.
“There are times that there are families that have managed to reach the last stages of the disease caring for relatives at home, with a lot of love and there is another family that has been very complicated that they have had to hospitalize them in a third level or in a institution where they give him care where he receives visits from his relatives, “he concluded.