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Alzheimer's disease


- One of the varieties of presenile dementia, resulting from atrophy mainly in the temporal and parietal lobes of the brain. The disease begins on average at age 55, is much more common than Pick's disease. Women suffer 3-5 times more often than men. The disease begins with increasing memory impairment. However, patients notice in themselves these disorders and the associated decline in intellectual abilities and in every possible way try to hide it from others. With the increase in memory impairment, a feeling of confusion, misunderstanding, bewilderment appears, which in some cases causes them to consult a doctor. Gradually, patients no longer orientate themselves in time and place, accumulated knowledge, experience, and skills fall out of memory. The process of falling from the present to the past, i.e. first events that are closest in time are forgotten, and then more distant ones. First, the memory of abstract notions - names, dates, terms, names - suffers. Then memorization disorders join, in connection with which patients begin to confuse the chronological sequence of events both in general and in their personal lives. Patients can not tell where they are, their home address (they can call the address of the house where they lived in their youth). Coming out of the house, they do not find the way back. Recognition of form, color, faces, spatial location is impaired.
People from the inner circle begin to be called by other names, for example, representatives of the young generation - by the names of their brothers and sisters, then by the names of their long-dead relatives and friends. In the end, patients cease to recognize their own appearance: looking at themselves in the mirror, they may ask - "what kind of old woman is this?" Disturbance of orientation in space is reflected in the disorder and asymmetry of handwriting: the letters accumulate in the center or in the corners of the page, usually written vertically. Speech disorders, depletion of vocabulary, lack of understanding of what was heard, read or written with one's own hand are closely connected with this. Therefore, the letter increasingly represents a set of irregular circles, curves, and then straight lines. Speech is becoming increasingly incomprehensible, consisting of separate parts of words and syllables.
Patients gradually lose all the skills and habitual actions acquired during their lives: they cannot dress, cook food, do any elementary work, for example, sew a button, and ultimately perform even one purposeful action. The mood is unstable: apathy alternates with gaiety, excitement, uninterrupted and incomprehensible speech. In the final stage of the disease, gait disturbances, seizures, reflex movements with the lips and tongue (sucking, smacking, chewing) can be observed. The outcome of the disease is unfavorable: the state of complete marasmus. Death occurs either during a seizure, or in connection with a joining infection.