Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, according to the Hong Kong government’s Elderly Health Service.  Around 65% of all reported cases of dementia in the region are due to Alzheimer’s and it is on the increase, with up to a third of the SAR’s senior citizens aged 80 and older, expected to suffer from some form of dementia by 2050.

Common symptoms include confusion, memory loss, difficulty communicating, anxiousness and paranoia.

Dementia is marked by a progressive decline in cognitive and intellectual functioning, which includes memory, comprehension, language and judgment, such as:

  • Reduced ability to take in and remember new information (e.g. forgetting events, appointments; misplacing personal belongs, repetitive questions or conversations)
  • Issues with reasoning and exercising judgment (e.g. poor understanding of safety risk, inability to manage finance)
  • Unable to recognise objects and faces
  • Difficulty thinking of common words while speaking, hesitating
  • Changes in personality and behaviour - mood swings, agitation, social withdrawal, lack of interest, motivation

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease - this means there is progressive brain cell death which happens years before symptoms appear.

It's thought to be caused by an abnormal build-up of proteins in and around brain cells which causes a decrease in neurotransmitters that send messages between brain cells.

Several factors are known to increase your risk of developing this condition:

  • Aging
  • A family history of Alzheimer’s
  • Carrying a certain gene
  • Head injury
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hearing loss
  • Untreated depression
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Loneliness or social isolation
  • Exposure to environment contaminants, such as toxic metals, pesticide, and industrial chemicals

What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and normal aging?

Changes to the brain tissue, including the build-up of abnormal protein structures called amyloid plaques and tau tangles characterise Alzheimer’s disease. While the actual origins and causes of Alzheimer’s are still unclear, many scientists and medical professionals believe these changes lie at the root of this disease.

While many people experience some decline in their cognitive abilities as they grow older, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are not considered a normal part of the aging process.

For example, while people may have difficulty recalling the names of acquaintances as part of normal age-associated memory impairment, people with dementia will have problems recognising and remembering the name of family members.

Normal age-related impairments may lead people to occasionally forget events and things, while people with dementia will forget them frequently. By the middle to late stages of dementia cognitive impairment will substantially affect sufferers’ ability to carry out day to day tasks.

While dementia is not a normal part of the aging process, age is a risk factor.

Many people start to develop brain damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease as early as their late 30s even though the symptoms usually begin to appear in the mid-60s. Once symptoms begin, it is important to see a practitioner and address them quickly.

Medical imaging, cognitive exams and other memory-based testing are essential for diagnosis.

Other illnesses can have similar signs and symptoms, such as Parkinson’s disease, depression or past strokes. These tests give both practitioner and patient a clearer idea of the path forward.

Our naturopaths begin by profiling your DNA to assess whether you're at risk for developing Alzheimer’s .

Testing your DNA profile and your digestive functionality can help identify any factors which may be aggravating your condition, such as nutritional deficiencies, thyroid functionality, mercury toxicity, hormonal imbalances.

What’s next?

Simply call +852 2523 7121, or connect with us below, and we'll be in touch shortly.

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