Regardless of age, individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease can have their entire lives flipped upside down due to its debilitating effects. Because of this, researchers and scientists within the medical community are constantly testing the latest technological developments that could ease these symptoms, as well as more personalized care for the ever growing number of people suffering.
Life expectancy throughout the world has been steadily increasing throughout the years thanks to advancements in medicine. However, this directly translates to a larger elderly population, introducing new challenges for medical professionals, and a rise in age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. To combat this, early diagnosis is seen as one of the most crucial aspects of treatment.
As a form of dementia, Alzheimer’s mostly affects individuals 65 and older. Brain fibers become tangled and eventually form “clumps” that destroy neuron connections, which lead to dead brain cells. The most obvious signs of early development are memory loss and impaired reasoning skills, but these can go unnoticed for an extended period of time, leading to the disease worsening.
A breakthrough in early diagnosis, PTE scans can show the human brain at a cellular level, allowing doctors and medical technicians to take not of any drastic metabolic chances. Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s often have much larger dark masses in the center of the brain; a clear sign of dementia beginning to develop. Treating this disease early on is the best way to maintain a patient’s cognitive abilities for as long as possible.
More and more psychological tests are being administered in an attempt to study Alzheimer’s as well. Activities like writing and anything that demands the cognitive functions of planning can show researchers just how much one person may be affected. As shown in this article’s graph, a person suffering from Alzheimer’s has a much more difficult time writing a sentence compared to a healthy individual. This test is a great way to read one’s stiffness, hand speed, and muscular contractions to best diagnose their levels of dementia.
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s today remains an irreversible disease. Because of this, personalized care is essential to better a patient’s life as much as possible, and several pieces of technology have come to light recently to do just that. Wearable cameras, tools to assist in getting dressed, and small patches that monitor the body’s functions are all things that exist today, in addition to many others.
So, while this certainly is a difficult disease for both patients and their loved ones, there is hope for the future. Emerging technologies are making Alzheimer’s treatment much more effective, and with how quickly we have come in terms of medical advancements, a cure may soon be discovered as well.
Originally published on WilliamNakulski.org