Please BE with Me

Rabia Mazhar
Posted May 9, 2021 from Pakistan

Down memory lane, I use to wish how I could help all the old people who used to forget a lot and often had problems remembering the names of their loved ones. I never thought this wish of mine would shape itself into the nightmare of my life when my Father started to forget names and started losing himself.

My father got diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. It is the basic and the most common form of Dementia. Dementia can be defined as a collection of symptoms of cognitive decline. It was completely an alien disease for us as it was such an unpredictable symptom. He often used to forget our names or sometimes he could just go out without knowing where to go. Then he started having a  delay in speaking out words and showing other cognitive changes which were unpredictable and devastating for the whole family. I started to start researching this disease.

The disease was first discovered by Dr. Alois Alzhiemer in 1906.  

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

The most crucial and vital point to understand about Alzheimer’s  Disease is to know that Alzheimer’s is not a Psychological disease, but rather, it is a Neurodegenerative or Neurological brain Disorder.

The simplest way to define the disease is to know a little about the human brain first. A normal human brain functions through a network of cells called Neurons. These neurons are made of proteins. These neurons send electrical signals ( in the form of releasing healthy chemicals) to other neurons and thus the brain gets signals, stores memory, and functions through the signals sent by neurons. Within the network of these neurons, there are other proteins working their work as well, named Beta-amyloid and Tau Protein. In a Brain with Alzheimer's disease, the Amyloid and Tau protein becomes toxic and starts accumulating and forming clumps.  The Brains starts to shrink as a result and This clumping of toxins, not only affects the basic neuron functioning, Memory, thinking,  but it also affects the vascular system, and hence the whole brain gets affected which in turn starts affecting the rest of the body as well.

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive and irreversible disease. A lot of research is being carried out on this disease now internationally, but in Pakistan, rarely a few doctors and medical institutes have genuine knowledge, treatments, and diagnosis. Most Pakistani Public treats Alzheimer's Patients to be mentally challenged person due to their own lack of knowledge about this disease.

 

 Stages of Alzheimer's

There are 7 stages of Alzheimer's researched internationally

No Decline Signs

Very Mild Decline

Mild Decline

Moderate Decline

Moderately severe Decline

Severe Decline

Very Severe Decline

Stages of Alzheimer's researched in Pakistan

1. Pre SIgns 2. Early SIgns 3. Moderate SIgns 4. Advanced Stage

 

Symptoms : 

Restlessness

Lack of Sleep

Wandering

Memory Loss

Thinking Delay

Confusion

Language and speech delay

Cognitive  decline

Difficulty eating, praying, recalling, holding the thing, and other cognitive functions

Lack of Body Balance

Emotional, Physical and Psychological dependency

Lack of Vision

Hallucinations

Delusions

 Lack of emotional balance

Depression

Social withdrawal

Mood swings

anxiety

Lack of hearing

Paranoia or simply Fear of falling, bathing, etc.

Lack of Decisive power

Lack of remembering places ad relations etc.

And the devastating list goes on just like this progressive disease.

Causes There are major researches being done Internationally and also in Pakistan to know the main cause of Alzheimer's and Dementia but so far it is unknown. Many factors are involved and can become the cause of this disease.  Some of the  so far researched main  causes are

Barin Injury

Lifestyle changes that affect brain

A person having Alzheimer's disease history in the family

Alcohol Consumption

Genetics ( risk genes( risk genes are the ones that increase the risk of developing the diseases of Alzheimer's) and deterministic genes ( deterministic genes are the ones that directly causes the disease)

 

Stats in Pakistan According to research, Pakistan ranks sixth with 150,000-200,000 patients suffering from dementia

Diagnosis and Treatments in Pakistan Alzheimer's is a very complex and unpredictable disease. There is no cure for this progressive disease. Lifestyle changes and managing the behavioral symptoms of the patient, proper care, Nutritious Diet, and loss of love is the only cure. if we talk about Pakistan, then not much treatment is being done regarding Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Usually, Brain Tests (MRI, PET, and CT scan) are done, reasoning skills check through neuropsychological tests, reflexes are checked, tests for vision and hearing, body balance check, Coordination and response check, muscle strength check are mostly done.

 

Final Words:

In the end, there can be no words better to this poem to end this unending discussion.      

 

                                                             "Please BE with me, dear."

Comments 5

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Jill Langhus
May 10
May 10

Hello Rabia, Dear,

How are you doing? How is your dad doing now, dear? I hope you and your family are safe and well. Thanks for sharing and for spreading more awareness on Alzheimer's.

Rabia Mazhar
May 12
May 12

Hello my dear friend Jill
My family and I are all good and safe. My father is fine too. Thanks for appreciating my post. Yes, I will be spreading more awareness about Alzheimer's.

Jill Langhus
May 14
May 14

Hello, Dear,

That's great news! You're very welcome.

Hope you have a good, safe weekend. xx

Olutosin
May 10
May 10

Thank you very much for teaching us and calling our attention to this very crucial issue. In Nigeria, it was actually a recent development. It wasn't common at all. When we were growing up, it wasn't an issue in our local communities because our elders were the run-to custodians of knowledge and history. These days, we do see few old people with this condition. Few though and you are very correct that in the developing world, there are few physicians in that area...
The best medicine is genuine care and good attention to these affected elders.

My warmest regards to your father.

Rabia Mazhar
May 12
May 12

My dear Olutosin
I am so pleased to read your comment. Thanks for the appreciation and regards for my Father. I will forward your regards to him.
Loads of Love from me for you .
regards.

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