Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a deteriorating condition that impairs a person’s judgment, reasoning, and memory as they age. AD often begins slowly but develops with time, resulting in the death and degeneration of human brain cells. As a result, AD creates dementia, which impacts a person’s capacity to operate personally since social, behavioral, and cognitive abilities are compromised. This is a typical condition among the elderly, and it begins with a person being absent-minded before progressing to severe memory loss that impairs everyday activities.
Since the disease is typically diagnosed after 65, Alzheimer’s disease mostly affects old people. However, the early appearance of AD is a phrase used to describe cases in which a patient is diagnosed with the illness before age 65(Pleen & Townley, 2021). Most persons with AD are in their sixties or older, even though this illness is abnormal in aging. Growing age has been demonstrated to be a risk factor. Most individuals report sluggish thinking and difficulty remembering certain things in their lives, much like the rest of their bodies (Pleen & Townley, 2021). Deterioration of brain cells is seen in the declining memory and bewilderment of patients with Alzheimer’s disease as they age. However, not just the old are impacted, but also young people.
There are cultural aspects to consider for therapy and curing Alzheimer’s illness. It is crucial to consider cultural characteristics such as a strong feeling of belonging, religious beliefs, dietary practices, and interpersonal interactions to provide AD patients with the best possible quality of life and the most up-to-date treatment options. Likewise, the cultural awareness of caretakers is critical in protecting the well-being of patients and their families. For example, there is a belief that AD is a natural aging phase among Chinese and Hispanic carers. This type of thinking about Alzheimer’s disease may impact the illness’s early therapy and management.
On the other hand, the Japanese view aging as the ideal time to preserve a close-knit set of friends. It will be simpler to provide care and assistance to someone with Alzheimer’s disease if this is considered. In other countries, people prefer to keep their illness secret and rely only on trained carers rather than alerting their loved ones.
Financial, Legal, and Ethical Implications
Alzheimer’s disease impacts individuals, their households, hospitals, and the state. It is determined that Alzheimer’s disease has extraordinarily significant direct expenses. As of 2016, Alzheimer’s disease is forecast to be the costliest illness in the United States, with a projected total cost of $236 billion (Daly et al., 2021). This is a sign of the disease’s high treatment and management costs. Alzheimer’s patients and their families have been hit hard economically because of this disease. The average Alzheimer’s disease caregiver spends more than 18 billion hours tending to the needs of a loved one.
Most individuals are not prepared to deal with the legal ramifications of having Alzheimer’s. As a result of the disease’s effect on a person’s capacity to think properly, legal counsel is necessary for those who need it. On the other hand, those who have been diagnosed with early-stage AD are able to grasp a variety of legal decision-making features and ramifications (Daly et al., 2021). On the other hand, a lawyer may assist in the preparation of paperwork, interpret the various state laws, and provide advice as necessary. Advance directives and living trusts are only three examples of the types of legal papers that might be altered by AD.
Alzheimer’s disease is incurable; however, the illness’s symptoms can be mitigated by therapy. Treatments available today cannot stop the disease from progressing, but they can temporarily decrease the symptoms that come along with it. Patients’ overall well-being may benefit from these treatments as well (Garibotto et al.,2021). The cost of treating AD is projected to be significantly reduced if the illness is noticed and cured as soon as possible. Although it appears that treating and intervening in AD at an early stage saves money, the problem is that diagnosis is made very late.
Psychiatrists trained in effective interactions and dementia care organize therapeutic consultations for Alzheimer’s patients. Acetylcholine inhibitors, an example, acetylcholine, are used to treat Alzheimer’s disease by boosting the brain’s acetylcholine levels. Therapeutic Uses of Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) non-pharmacological treatment for mild dementia that is effective. Reminiscence therapy, some other non-pharmacological treatment options, involves assisting patients with dementia to regain access to their questionable memory.
People with AD possess a wealth of services and information at their disposal. There seem to be many governments, non-profit, and professional services geared at helping AD sufferers. The Alzheimer’s Association offers programs and services that link sufferers with one another and with specialists who can assist them in coping with and managing their illness (Johansson et al., 2021). For anyone in need of assistance, advice, and trustworthy information, there is a 24-hour helpline that is completely free.
Additionally, there are organizations of the Alzheimer’s Association in every country. It’s also likely to find support groups and resources in your town or city, such as educational programs and support groups for persons with AD. Support programs also connect persons with the disease to other people who have the same condition to learn from one another. For those in the first stages of sickness, some programs help them meet others in the same situation and organize activities such as sports and games that unite them.
In direct care costs, AD and other dementias will cost the American public $277 billion in the year 2025. The direct costs of Alzheimer’s disease have been found to be enormous. Alzheimer’s sufferers needed $287,000 in treatment and care in 2010, while patients with heart disease and cancer needed $175,000 each (Johansson et al., 2021). There is a large portion of Alzheimer’s disease expenses covered by Medicare or Medicaid. For every five dollars spent on healthcare, a patient with the condition receives one. Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia patients cost Medicaid a whopping $186 billion in treatment, accounting for 67% of all costs.
Sustainability of the Interventions
The concept of treating and managing Alzheimer’s disease is viable since it has been shown to better the lives of those suffering from the illness. Despite the incurable illness, it can be treated, allowing people with Alzheimer’s to live for as long as 20 years. Furthermore, continuing research is being conducted to develop improved treatment techniques for the condition. People are advised to visit medical institutions for regular checks ups which will enable them to control the illness.
Daly, T., Houot, M., Barberousse, A., Petit, A., & Epelbaum, S. (2021). A proposal to make biomedical research into Alzheimer’s disease more democratic following an international survey with researchers. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports, (Preprint), 1-9.
Garibotto, V., Albert, N. L., Barthel, H., van Berckel, B., Boellaard, R., Brendel, M.,… & Morbelli, S. (2021). The approval of a disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease: impact and consequences for the nuclear medicine community. European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, 48(10), 3033-3036.
Johansson, M., Stomrud, E., Insel, P. S., Leuzy, A., Johansson, P. M., Smith, R.,… & Hansson, O. (2021). Mild behavioral impairment and its relation to tau pathology in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Translational psychiatry, 11(1), 1-8.
Pleen, J. and Townley, R. Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial update 2019–2021. Journal of neurology, pp.1-14.