Age is unstoppable. Every living being will become old eventually. But ageing is not a process which is devoid of problems. Gradually our organs mature and become weak day by day. Our master organ, the brain is highly affected by gradual ageing. Slowly the sensitive areas of brains loose cells. The brain becomes atrophied.
That’s why most of the neurodegenerative diseases start at 6th or 7th decade. These diseases are very devastating and cause irreversible changes in our brain. Modern neurology is still in search of cure to several neurodegenerative conditions.
But these diseases are not seen overnight. They start and progress very slowly. Many people neglect early symptoms. Some people start treatment but forget to continue. When the diseases are in advanced stage, it’s impossible to cure them or even halt the progression of the disease.
Stroke or cardiovascular accident is one of the commonest disease of old age. The old age is commonest non modifiable factor of stroke. Along with it old people suffer from diabetes and hypertension more commonly. They add to the stroke risk. But many large strokes come with prior warning. We call it Mini stroke or TIA. It improves within 24 hours. There is a very high chance of large stroke after it. So we should be very cautious to diagnose mini stroke and visit a neurologist for aggressive management to prevent large stroke.
As age increases memory cell formation decreases. Before age 60, a consistent pattern of cognitive change with age occurs. General knowledge and vocabulary are stable or improve while problem solving and reasoning decline. Age-related decline occurs primarily in cognitive speed. As age increases the speed of thought processing decreases. But it’s not dementia. The old age people are much more prone to Alzheimer’s disease. So everyone should be aware of the earliest Signs of Alzheimer’s. The earliest treatment starts the progression becomes slow. Besides this vascular factors complicate existing dementia.
As age increases the brain becomes more and more atrophied. It becomes more prone to seizure. So the care takers should be vigilant always. Any change in consciousness, behaviour should be marked. Brief episodes of unconsciousness should be marked. If known case of epilepsy the regular consultation should be done.
Parkinson’s disease is very common in old age. It starts with shaking of hands and then goes towards slowness. The Symptoms are very typical. But it should be detected in its early stage. Then it’s treatment becomes easy and successful.
Fall in elderly, is a very common phenomenon. Many times fall causes head trauma, which leads to damage to nervous system. Sometimes it causes bleed in brain leading to progressive memory loss. Other comorbidies posses more difficulty to cope up.
Depression is one of the biggest issue in old age. At old age there is huge discrepancy between expectation and reality. The family changes. Along with it generation gap, chronic disease conditions make them suffer from depression.
HOW WE CAN TAKE CARE OF BRAIN IN OLD AGE
Manage High Blood Pressure and blood sugar.
Eat Healthy Foods.
Be Physically Active.
Keep Your Mind Active.
Stay Connected with Social Activities.