Non-pharmacological and pharmacological therapy of memory disorders is the main cause of patients seeking care. Patients and their families need therapy methods that optimise the remaining cognitive resources of the patients.
Behavioural and psychological symptoms, which occur in many customers, are one of the most crippling symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. More than 90 percent of Alzheimer’s disease patients have various behavioural deviations. Apathy, depression, agitation, psychosis, irritability and sleep disorders are especially common.
In terms of memory disorders, more and more attention is paid nowadays to mild cognitive disorders, or situations where people have mild cognitive problems – impaired cognitive skills, for instance, memory or reasoning. These problems are recognised to be more severe in patients than could be expected in a healthy person of the respective age, however, the symptoms are not severe enough to considerably interfere with daily life and therefore, the diagnosis of dementia has not been confirmed.
It is considered that 5 to 20 percent of people over 65 years of age have mild cognitive disorders. It is not a type of dementia, but people with mild cognitive disorders have a higher risk that dementia will develop as the disorders are progressing. Many patients, who have been diagnosed with mild cognitive disorders use their diagnosis as an opportunity to change their lifestyle and do everything that they can to reduce the risk of their mild cognitive disorders progressing into dementia.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Currently more than 47.5 million people of the world have been diagnosed with dementia and this number is expected to reach 75.6 million by 2030 and more than triple by 2050.
Dementia is a severe burden not only for the patient themselves, but their caregivers and families. Nowadays, most countries of the world still lack attention and understanding of dementia. (WHO 2015)
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are widespread – in the USA every 68 seconds a person is transferred from the diagnostic group of mild cognitive disorders and is diagnosed with a type of dementia. Based on autopsy data, Alzheimer’s disease is the third most common type of dementia.
Not every loss of memory or dementia is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Optimal disease management depends on differential diagnostics: mild cognitive disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia with Levi bodies, vascular dementia, primarily progressing aphasia, frontotemporal dementia, progressive supranuclear paralysis, corticobasal degeneration, normal pressure hydrocephalus, Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Methods of clinical, laboratory and imaging diagnostics are highly suitable to provide evidence for this, sometimes complicated, process of differential diagnostics of memory disorders.
Symptomatic therapy is currently available for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s types of dementia. Disease modifying therapies that may delay the onset of the disease or slow down the progression of the disease are still in the phase of clinical research. Unfortunately, there are currently no disease-modifying agents with proven efficacy and success in the treatment of every case of neurodegenerative diseases, while optimal patient care for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease patients depends on currently available resources.