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Alzheimer's Disease

Apopka Medical Center

Dean Behner, MD

Internal Medicine located in Apopka, FL

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s, including difficulty remembering new information, make an appointment with Dr. Dean Behner at Apopka Medical Center in Apopka, Florida, for diagnosis and treatment. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, with attentive medical care and treatment, you can manage your symptoms to protect your quality of life. Call the office or schedule a consultation online today.

Alzheimer's Disease Q & A

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia — the general term for the loss of memory and other cognitive abilities. It’s a progressive condition, which means symptoms slowly get worse over time and eventually disrupt a person’s ability to complete routine daily tasks.

What are symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?

The most common early warning sign of Alzheimer’s is trouble remembering newly learned information. Alzheimer’s affects the part of your brain that allows you to retain information. As your disease progresses, new and worsening symptoms develop, including:

  • Disorientation
  • Mood changes
  • Behavioral changes
  • Confusion about time, dates, and places
  • Unfounded suspicions about family and caregivers
  • A difficulty with speaking, swallowing and walking

It’s common for friends or family members to notice these symptoms before the person experiencing them. It’s important to get medical diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible, as interventions are improving all the time and can improve your or your loved one’s quality of life.

What causes Alzheimer’s disease?

The reason Alzheimer’s develops isn’t currently understood, although medical researchers have identified some risk factors for the disease including getting older and a family history of dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Other social and behavioral factors that can help prevent Alzheimer’s include:

  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet and regular exercise
  • Protecting your cardiovascular health
  • Engaging in lifelong learning and cognitive training
  • Maintaining social engagement

Medical researchers do know that Alzheimer’s develops following brain cell death. When you have Alzheimer’s, deposits known as plaques and tangles develop on your brain tissue. Plaques are deposits of a protein called beta-amyloid which develop between your brain cells. Tangles develop in your nerve cells and are made of a protein called tau. Over time the tissue loses nerve cells and connections, leading to worsening symptoms.

How is Alzheimer’s diagnosed?

Dr. Behner uses a variety of tests to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, starting with a comprehensive exam that checks your neurological function and cognitive abilities. He may order an MRI or other diagnostic imaging tests to look for signs of plaques or tangles on your brain. You may also need genetic testing to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms, such as Huntington’s disease.

How is Alzheimer’s treated?

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s or a method to stop or slow its progression. However, there are medications and alternative treatments available to manage the symptoms. Dr. Behner wants to help you or your loved one maintain your quality of life for as long as possible, and he explores medicines and therapies for memory and behavior changes, as well as support to help you sleep.

Call the office or schedule an appointment online today if you or someone you care about is showing signs of dementia.