Wednesday Workshop – What Makes Alzheimer’s a Deadly Disease?
Hello and welcome to today’s Wednesday Workshop. Many people think of Alzheimer’s disease as a condition associated with memory loss and other cognitive decline. However, it’s considerably more complicated and serious than that. In fact, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and, despite research efforts, it’s also among the top 10 diseases in the nation that cannot be prevented, reversed, or cured.
Learn more about what makes this disease not just devastating but deadly.
Though the disease process itself is not considered deadly, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and, ultimately, the consequences of the disease are what make it lethal. “Alzheimer’s disease does not cause imminent death, in the sense that most patients live for more than five years and some for 10 to 15 years from diagnosis if they are otherwise healthy,” says Gil Rabinovici, MD, of the University of California in San Francisco. “In the end stages, however, Alzheimer’s impacts balance, walking, and swallowing. The cause of death is usually related to complications of immobility such as falls, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, pressure sores, or aspiration.”
This suggests that the loss of cognitive function and dementia in Alzheimer’s disease plays a role in mortality: The faster the rate of cognitive decline, the quicker the onset of death from complications of the disease.
Steps for Fighting Alzheimer’s
Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and available Alzheimer’s treatments can only slow its progression, drugs, behavioral therapy, and lifestyle modifications may help with both cognitive and behavioral symptoms such as memory loss, dementia, changes in behavior, and sleep disturbances.
Ongoing research for new Alzheimer’s treatments holds hope — new drugs in clinical trials may actually stop Alzheimer’s progression.
To learn more or to speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center
Feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199 or email us below. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!