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Alzheimer’s disease

What Is alzheimers disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that cannot be arrested. It is characterized by a continuous decline in thinking, in behavioural and social skills that interferes with a person's ability to function independently. It severely affects memory, thinking, learning and organizing skills and eventually affects a person’s ability to carry out simple daily activities.

Possible Causes of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer's is a degenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gradually becomes worse. It is believed that a combination of lifestyle, genetic and environmental causes are responsible for Alzheimer's disease, over a period of time.

This disease is caused by beta-amyloid and tau, which are brain proteins that disrupt the normal functioning of brain cells. These cells create havoc as they get damaged, lose connections to each other and eventually die.

Risk Factors of Alzheimer’s disease

You could be at a higher risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease due to the following factors:

  • Age: as you grow older the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease increases.
  • Family history and genetics: your risk of developing Alzheimer's is higher if a close relative has it.
  • Down syndrome: people with down syndrome are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease as they possess the gene for the protein creation of beta-amyloid. 
  • Mild cognitive impairment: reduction in memory or other thinking skills not in line with a person's age.
  • Past head trauma: if you’ve had severe head trauma then you are at a greater risk of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Other factors: Other risk factors are sedentary lifestyle, low education levels and poor sleep patterns.
  • Lifelong learning and social engagement: people who keep themselves mentally alert with learning and socially stimulating activities stand a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease. 

Signs & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

Forgetting a recent event or conversation may be the first warning that you have Alzheimer’s disease. As the disease grows, your memory will let you down and you will find it laborious to carry out daily tasks.

Signs that you have Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Thinking and reasoning: unable to focus, feeling confused and cannot cope with abstract concepts like numbers.
  • Feeling disoriented: delusions, loss of inhibitions, losing your way, irritability and aggressiveness.
  • Changes in personality and behaviour: dramatic mood swings from anger, anxiety to depression. Apathy, social withdrawal, distrust in others.
  • Planning and doing familiar tasks: problems of poor physical coordination and planning.
  • Making judgments and decisions: day-to-day activities become arduous, it’s a challenge to respond effectively to everyday problems.

People with Alzheimer's might forget their loved ones. They might forget how to dress themselves, feed themselves, and use the toilet.

Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease

At Medcare, you can get a proper diagnosis of Alzheimer’s by an expert neurologist. The neurologist will commence diagnosis with a lot of questions regarding medications that you take, your personal history, your mental state, family history and illnesses that seem to run in the family. 

Tests to measure your problem-solving skills, attention span and retention will help your doctor to understand whether the areas of your brain responsible for learning, memory, thinking, or planning skills have been affected.

Some other tests are:

  • CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to show the brain changes that are linked to the disease.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) is a scan that shows the plaques that build up in brains affected by Alzheimer’s.
  • Neuropsychological testing helps in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect thinking, emotion and behaviour. Other tests may include a blood test, chest X-ray or a cardiac MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or a myocardial biopsy.

Alzheimer’s disease Treatment in Dubai & Sharjah

Neurology specialists at Medcare will recommend an Alzheimer’s disease treatment plan to help you cope with this disorder. Per se, there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are medicines that can slow down its progress. Since Alzheimer’s modifies the behaviour of the person, resulting in mood swings, there are medicines that can alleviate these symptoms.

Some medicines that may be prescribed by our specialists:

  • Antipsychotic drugs may be recommended to deal with paranoia, confusion, hallucination and aggressive behaviour.
  • Anti-anxiety drugs to treat agitation.
  • Sleep medications to fight insomnia and drugs to treat depression.
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Alzheimer’s disease FAQs:

Alzheimer’s disease FAQs:


  • What is Alzheimer’s disease?

    A: Alzheimer's, is a degenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gradually becomes worse as brain tissue breaks down over time. It starts with memory loss, degenerating into an inability to do daily tasks, feeling confused and lost, difficulty in having conversations, unable to recognise people, mood swings and finally social withdrawal.

  • Is there any cure for Alzheimer’s?

    A: There is no treatment that cures Alzheimer's disease or alters the disease process in the brain. However, there are medicines which alleviate the symptoms to a great extent.

  • What are some measures for Alzheimer’s disease prevention?

    A: Alzheimer's disease is not a preventable condition. Heart-healthy lifestyle choices of food, exercise and weight may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. Taking part in social events, and in activities that require mental alertness like reading, drawing, painting, dancing, playing board games or playing an instrument seem to have a positive effect on symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease.

  • My father has quite a late stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Now his food intake has reduced drastically. What can I do to get him to eat properly?

    A: Late-stage Alzheimer’s patients may not recognize feelings of hunger or thirst and may have trouble swallowing. They may also lose interest in food due to depression. Also, eating on their own, handling a spoon or a cup may become more and more difficult with each passing day. To help your father, speak to your doctor and see whether any medication is needed for his appetite. 

    Prepare nutritious meals, and serve smaller meals at regular intervals. Try to keep a happy and calm ambience during mealtimes, and keep your father company as far as possible. Don’t force him to eat. Offer some food that he can pick up himself and eat, such as cucumber slices. Encourage your father to do some physical activity, such as walking, that will make him hungry.

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