Written in REGION the
On the international day that seeks to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s, the neurologist at the Provincial Hospital of Ovalle, Dr. Darwin Escalona, clarified that it is extremely important not to stigmatize older adults by downplaying or normalizing the most immediate memory loss, emphasizing in that “not because the person is older they have to forget things”. This call from the specialist has to do with the fact that if a doctor is not consulted early for this symptom, people may suffer from Alzheimer’s in a more degenerative and accelerated way.
As explained by the professional, Alzheimer’s is a disease within the types of dementia to which a person can be affected. Its symptoms are degenerative, evolving chronically and progressively. Thus, the disease damages mental functions, such as memory, orientation, language, calculation capacity, judgment and the ability to learn new things.
This brain disorder not only affects mental abilities, but also influences other spheres of life, such as emotional state, due to being more prone to emotional lability, presenting uncontrollable outbursts of crying, laughing or a tendency to irritability. .
This is because it is a progressive disease that affects the autonomy of the individual, leading to a degree of total dependence. Dr. Escalona affirms that “the person loses the ability to acquire new information, then the affectation of language, visual-spatial or constructive and motor skills is incorporated, until the patient generates a total dependency, remaining under the wing of a caregiver of the family or close beings”.
Alzheimer’s does not have a cure identified so far, however, the Ovalle Hospital specialist affirms that a healthy life and the early detection of some symptoms, such as the most immediate memory loss, is of the utmost importance for its diagnosis and treatment. However, the management of these patients only focuses on preventing this mental disorder from advancing in such an accelerated and degenerative manner.
This was stated by Dr. Escalona, who called for “we do not stigmatize older adults, not because the person is older they have to forget things, generally society and even health personnel tend to think that it is something common with age, however, if it is identified early, medical treatment and occupational therapy can prevent this disease from progressing so quickly”.
By 2050, it is estimated that the world could exceed 131.5 million people suffering from this disease. From 2021 to date, the Ovalle Hospital registered 351 patients who required multidisciplinary care related to Alzheimer’s, who, in addition to receiving free coverage for their disease through the Explicit Health Guarantees plan (GES), can access assistance for the patient’s caregiver, since they are also affected by the degree of dependency of the person living with this disorder.