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World Alzheimer’s Day

  • Published
    21st Sep, 2023
Context

Every year on September 21, World Alzheimer’s Day is celebrated to raise awareness about the disease.

The Dementia in India report 2020 estimates that there are 5.3 million people over the age of 60 years living with dementia in India, with the prevalence projected to increase to 14 million by 2050.

About the Disease:
  • It is a neurological disorder which causes brain cells to degenerate and die. This leads to loss of memory, problems with words in speaking or writing, poor judgment, changes in mood and personality, confusion with time or place, etc.
  • At the first stage, these symptoms are mild but they become more severe with time.
  • Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.
  • Alzheimer's disease is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of proteins in and around brain cells. One of the proteins involved is called amyloid, deposits of which form plaques around brain cells and the other protein is called tau.

Tau is a protein that when it occurs in tangled formations in the brain of Alzheimer patients, disrupts the ability of neurons to communicate with one another in the brain.

  • Alzheimer’s is an incurable disease, as the death of brain cells cannot be reversed.
  • Women have a higher risk of having Alzheimer’s disease than men.

Treatment:

There is currently no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Treatment addresses several areas:

  • Helping people maintain brain health.
  • Managing behavioral symptoms.
  • Slowing or delaying symptoms of the disease.

Recent Update:

  • Researchers have discovered a drug named Lecanemab that reduces cognitive decline in patients with early Alzheimer's, making it one of the first neuroprotective treatments for the disease.
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