Theme for 2021: “Know dementia, know Alzheimer’s”.
The day is commemorated annually on September 21 to spread awareness and educate people about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In some countries, it is observed the whole month. Alzheimer’s disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer. He had noticed some changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. It also occurs with other diseases.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and progressively worsens. It is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia.
The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events. As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language, disorientation (including easily getting lost), mood swings, loss of motivation, self-neglect, and behavioural issues.
As a person’s condition declines, they often withdraw from family and society. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Although the speed of progression can vary, the typical life expectancy following diagnosis is three to nine years.