A RECENT study of Americans over the age of 60 found that the condition they most feared was Alzheimer’s or dementia (25 per cent) followed by getting cancer (23 per cent) and having a stroke (15 per cent).
Slight memory loss is a normal consequence of ageing, and people should therefore not be overly concerned if they lose their keys or forget the name of a neighbour at the supermarket. But how do you know when forgetfulness is part of the normal ageing process and when it could be a symptom of Alzheimer’s?
An early symptom of Alzheimer’s is memory loss including forgetting important dates or events and asking for the same information numerous times over but if you later remember those names and dates then it is likely to be age-related rather than Alzheimer’s so it is important not to panic when you start suffering from memory loss.
People frequently ask if they are more at risk if a grandparent had Alzheimer’s. Cases of Alzheimer’s in people aged 65 years or older are classified as late-onset Alzheimer’s.
In these cases the cause of the disease is unknown but in early-onset Alzheimer’s, which is rare, genes do play an important role as inheriting these rare, genetic mutations can lead to early-onset Alzheimer’s. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s but experts believe a number of compounds found in cannabis could prove effective as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
There are also numerous trials and research projects underway which could ultimately lead to effective treatments in the near future for this insidious disease.