What’s the History of Alzheimer’s Disease?

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Alzheimer’s disease remains the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. More than five million adults over the age of 65 live with the progressive cognitive disorder. Today, the disorder is well known, but it wasn’t recognized until the early 20th century. 


In 1906, German physician Alois Alzheimer was the first to recognize the unusual cognitive changes in a person referred to as Auguste D. The individual was experiencing memory loss and paranoia along with other cognitive and psychological anomalies. When Auguste D died, Alzheimer performed an autopsy, which revealed shrunken nerve cells and other tissue. But it wasn’t until the development of the electron microscope in 1931 that researchers were able to study the brain in greater detail. The disorder became known for Dr. Alzheimer.


It wasn’t until 1968 that practitioners had tests at their disposal to measure cognitive impairment to evaluate the extent of brain tissue damage. Congress established the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in 1974, which supports Alzheimer’s research. November was deemed National Alzheimer’s Disease Month in 1983 to create a greater awareness of the debilitating disorder. In the following year, the NIA began providing funds to Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers, and research started across the nation.

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, help is just a phone call away. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading elderly home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.


Until 1993, there was no specific treatment for Alzheimer’s. During that year, the FDA approved a medication called Cognex. The formulation was created in an attempt to curb memory loss and other cognitive symptoms commonly associated with the disease. One year later, the country learned former President Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. 

In 2003, the NIA initiated the National Alzheimer’s Disease Genetic Study in hopes of identifying genes that might be linked to the development of the disorder. Since that time, researchers have gained more knowledge associated with Alzheimer’s in terms of the physiological changes that occur in the brain as the disease develops. 

Lifestyle risk factors have also been identified. As of yet, there’s no effective treatment. Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is often a traumatic blow to seniors and their loved ones. With the support of family members, some lifestyle changes may delay the disease’s progression.

Aging adults who need help managing mental and physical health issues can benefit from the assistance of highly trained professional caregivers. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Huntsville Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Slowing Alzheimer’s Progress

Affected older adults and their family members need to educate themselves about Alzheimer’s. Make sure your loved one is eating vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish, and nuts that provide beneficial nutrients that also have neuroprotective chemical compounds. Remaining as physically active as possible ensures the brain continues receiving oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to ensure neuron function. 

Encourage your loved one to exercise mental abilities by reading, completing puzzles, listening to music, and reminiscing. Learning something new challenges cognitive ability further and encourages the development of new pathways between neurons. 

As the disorder progresses, ensure your loved one remains safe by implementing necessary precautions. Despite their cognitive impairment, seniors must always be respected and their dignity preserved. 

Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Huntsville Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. Call (256) 716-9940 today to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager to formulate a home care plan for your loved one.


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