You At Your Best

June 2017 • Mental Health

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YOU AT YOUR BEST | NWADG.COM/YOUATYOURBEST JUNE - MENTAL HEALTH | SATURDAY, MAY 27, 2017 | 11 945 S. College • 479-571-2920 Our membership includes "seniors" aged 55 and over! Everything in the center is done with the seniors interests and needs as our priorities. ACTIVITY vs Anxiety DANCING vs Depression PERSEVERING vs Panic Attacks Good for your mental health! Hope and Support for Women The Center for Women provides a safe environment where women can offer each other support. Individualized treatment focuses on crisis stabilization and improving coping skills. Our goal is to help women develop healthy lifestyles, identify emotional triggers and learn to prevent relapse. Free and confi dential assessments are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information, please call 479-973-6000 or toll-free 888-521-6014. Springwoods Behavioral Health 1955 W. Truckers Dr | Fayetteville, AR C E N T E R F O R W O M E N Alzheimer's Disease vs. Dementia Dementia and Alzheimer's disease are two of the most commonly confused mental disorders. They may share com- mon symptoms, but they are two different conditions associated with aging. Dementia is not a specifi c disease, rather a group of symptoms caused by dis- orders that affect the brain. Dementia may develop gradually or very quickly. Func- tions that may be affected by dementia in- clude: • Decision-making, Judgment • Memory • Thinking, Reasoning • Verbal Communication Many different diseases can cause dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and Pick's disease. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. It accounts for nearly 60 percent of all dementia cases. Alzheimer's disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and as many as fi ve million Americans suffer from the disease. It is a progressive brain disorder that gets worse over time, de- stroying brain cells that control thought, memory and language. The fi rst sign of Alzheimer's dis- ease is forgetfulness. As the disease pro- gresses, symptoms worsen, memory loss becomes severe and daily activities, such as eating and dressing, become more diffi - cult. Patients in later stages of Alzheimer's may fail to recognize familiar people and places. It is common for people in these stages to show aggression and anxiety. It is important to understand that Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging. The disease usually develops after the age of 60 and the risk increases with age. On the other hand, people as young as 30 have de- veloped the disease. Physicians and scientists do not yet fully understand what causes Alzheimer's disease. However, scientists believe the following risk factors may be associated with Alzheimer's disease: Age - This is the most important known risk factor. The number of people with the disease doubles every fi ve years after age 65. Family History - Scientists believe genetics may play a role in the develop- ment of Alzheimer's disease. Early-onset Alzheimer's disease, which occurs be- tween the ages of 30 and 60, is inherited. The more common Alzheimer's disease that occurs later in life has no obvious inheritance pattern, although the risk is slightly higher for those who have an im- mediate family member with Alzheimer's. The only gene identifi ed for the late-onset Alzheimer's disease is a gene that makes one form of a protein called apolipoprotein E (ApoE). Only about 15 percent of peo- ple have the form that increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Sex - Women are more likely to de- velop Alzheimer's. Lifestyle - High blood pressure and high cholesterol may increase the likeli- hood of developing Alzheimer's disease. Some studies have shown that keeping physically and mentally fi t, especially in later years, reduces the risk of developing the disease. Alzheimer's disease is typically di- agnosed by ruling out other diseases and conditions that cause memory loss, such as a brain tumor. Physicians typically rely on the following to properly diagnose Alzhei- mer's: Medical History - Physicians need to know about the person's general health and past medical problems. Blood Tests - Physicians may order blood tests to help rule out other causes of the dementia, such as thyroid disorders or vitamin defi ciencies. Mental Evaluation - These tests screen memory, problem-solving abilities, attention span, counting skills and lan- guage. Brain Scans - By looking at images of the brain, physicians are able to identify visible abnormalities. Using these methods, physicians are able to accurately diagnose 90 percent of Alz- heimer's cases. Unfortunately, there is no treatment that can cure Alzheimer's disease. How- ever, there are medications used to slow the progression of the disease for a limited amount of time. Research continues and there have been accelerating efforts to fi nd better ways to treat symptoms, delay onset or prevent Alzheimer's disease. Talk with your doctor if you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms asso- ciated with dementia or Alzheimer's dis- ease. To schedule an appointment with a Northwest Health physician, call 800-734- 2024 or visit SPECIAL TO NWA DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

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