Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), founded in 1984, is responsible for assisting victims, educating the public, and advancing relevant legislation. Every year on September 21, World Alzheimer’s Day is observed to raise awareness and educate people about Alzheimer’s and dementia. This day is an excellent opportunity to speak up and discover new ways to combat the disease.
A Brief History of World Alzheimer's Day 2022
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), founded in 1984, is in charge of assisting victims, educating the public, and advocating for relevant legislation.
World Alzheimer’s Day was first observed on September 21, 1994, by the Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) in Edinburgh as part of their annual conference to commemorate their tenth anniversary. ADI coordinates World Alzheimer’s Day and World Alzheimer’s Month on a global scale, working with member associations and organisations to plan activities and raise awareness.
The first “World Alzheimer Report” was released on World Alzheimer’s Day in 2009, and yearly reports have been published since then. Despite the day’s growing influence, there is still a knowledge gap and stigma surrounding dementia. Many people believe that the illness is a normal part of ageing.
Although Alzheimer’s disease is primarily caused by ageing, it is not limited to the elderly. Alzheimer’s disease affects approximately 200,000 people under the age of 65 in the United States alone.
Concerned individuals and organisations can help raise awareness by contacting their country’s Alzheimer’s association.
What is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurological condition that usually develops slowly and worsens over time. It is responsible for 60-70% of dementia cases. The most common initial symptom is difficulty recalling recent events. Language difficulties, disorientation (including a proclivity to become disoriented easily), mood swings, a lack of desire, self-neglect, and behavioural issues can all be signs of advanced Alzheimer’s disease. When a person’s health deteriorates, they frequently withdraw from friends and family. Body functions deteriorate gradually, eventually leading to death. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is three to nine years, but the rate of development may vary.
What are the causes of Alzheimer's Disease?
The cause of the disease is unknown. However, brain proteins fundamentally misbehave, interfering with neuronal activity and triggering a chain of harmful and lethal events. Neurons that have been damaged lose their connections, degenerate, and eventually die. Though the damage frequently begins in the part of the brain that regulates memory, it can occur years before any symptoms appear.
The loss of neurons spreads to other areas of the brain in a fairly predictable manner, and by the disease’s final stages, the brain has already been significantly reduced.
Several genetic and environmental risk factors are said to influence its growth. The most potent genetic risk factor is an APOE allele. Additional risk factors include clinical depression, high blood pressure, and a history of head trauma.
Forgetting recent events is one of the most common symptoms of this illness. In this scenario, Alzheimer’s patients are more likely to forget names, addresses, phone numbers, and other trivial information.
World Alzheimer's Day 2022: Significance and Theme
The goal of World Alzheimer’s Day is to dispel common myths about dementia and raise awareness about its significance. It is also used as an opportunity for people to demonstrate how they can overcome these challenges and assist those suffering from dementia.
This year’s theme is the same as the one for 2021: “Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s.” This year, however, there is a special emphasis on post-diagnosis support.