What is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's disease is a chronic neurological disorder that causes memory loss and loss of cognitive movement. In this disease, the brain cells get degenerated and dies.
An Alzheimer's patient develops memory issues and has a tendency to forget recent events. It becomes difficult for an Alzheimer's patient to perform daily tasks with ease and often requires the help of others.
Alzheimer's is said to be a progressive form of dementia disease( a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills). Alzheimer's disease disrupts a person's ability to perform routine activities and forces them to require assistance.
There is no permanent cure for Alzheimer's disease in conventional treatment options. The treatment process of Alzheimer's disease focuses on reducing the symptoms of the disease and helping the patient in recovering the ability to perform daily tasks. In the advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease, a person loses the ability to perform brain functions and could even result in death.
Causes of Alzheimer's Disease
The exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is not known yet but is said to be caused by a combination of various factors such as environment, lifestyle, and genetics. Alzheimer’s is caused by the death of brain cells due to problems with brain proteins that disrupt the functioning of brain cells. Neurons in the brain get damaged and lose connection with each other. Genetics is one cause that has been identified by a number of medical experts throughout the world.
Risk Factors of Alzheimer's Disease
- Aging- people above 60 years of age are more prone to the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease.
- Family History- Having a family member with Alzheimer's disease increases the risk of it for a person.
- Certain genes- some genes are associated with Alzheimer's disease and about 1 % of the total cases are caused by these genes.
- Down Syndrome- people with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer's disease as the ability of the brain to function properly gets severely damaged.
- Sex- women are more likely to develop the disease than men.
- Mild cognitive impairment is also been associated with Alzheimer's disease.
- Past head trauma-severe head injuries or repeated head injuries at various parts of the brain increases the risk of the disease.
- Poor sleep patterns increase the risk as it doesn’t give the brain proper rest to perform the required function.
- Lifestyle and heart health- a sedentary lifestyle and poor heart health increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
- Exposure to harmful metals, pesticides, and industrial chemicals increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease
A person affected with Alzheimer's disease shows many signs and symptoms of the disease which can be easily identified. A person’s ability to perform Cognitive and behavioral functions gets highly damaged. Some common signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are:
- Loss of memory- asking questions, again and again, forgetting events, meetings, the name of people, etc.
- Unable to gather and remember new information.
- Unable to make and make proper judgments.
- Loss of thinking ability and reasoning ability.
- Difficulty in performing regular tasks.
- Eyesight problems.
- Changes in personality and previous behavior- changes like depression, obsessiveness, mood swings, lack of trust, social withdrawal, apathy, delusions, lack of motivation could be seen in an Alzheimer's patient.
- Sleeping problems.
- Facing problems with speech and writing.
The severity of the symptoms could vary in each case and mostly depends on the level or stage of Alzheimer's disease.
Therapeutic Iyengar Yoga for Alzheimer's Disease
Some common asanas or yoga for Alzheimer's disease which can be performed by Alzheimer patients are:
This yoga for Alzheimer's disease increases the oxygen level and improve the breathing process.
2. Supta Baddha Konasana
This asana provides oxygen to the brain and strengthens the nerves along with improving the breathing.
3. Supta Sukhasana
This yoga for Alzheimer's disease also improves the quality and quantity of oxygen in the body.
This asana circulates the blood properly and provides the mind required amount of blood that in turn helps in memory improvement.
5. Adho Mukha Svanasana
This yoga for Alzheimer's disease improves blood circulation in the intelligence center (Brain) and hence improves memory and has the chance of lost memory retain.
This is an asana that works against gravitational force and activates the dopamine hormone which due to Alzheimer's weakens and loss in quantity. This asana makes the dopamine stronger and helps the brain to release in the right quantity.
This asana balances the hormones and emotions in mind which helps to perform daily tasks.
9. Ujjayi Pranayama
This pranayama increases the oxygen level in the brain and body and improves blood circulation in the body. This also strengthens the memory.
- During the treatment, all the yoga for Alzheimer's disease will be performed with the help of props.
- Patients will be treated by trained yoga teachers under the guidance of Yogacharya Rajveer Singh Chauhan.
- The sequence and difficulty level of yoga for Alzheimer's may vary according to the condition of patients and their respective medical conditions.
- Every person will be advised to perform asanas based on their current health, age and their present capacity to perform asanas.