3/19/15

Is Alzheimer's More Aggressive in Men?

Alzheimer



Is Alzheimer's more aggressive in men? Yes, it is, and it's also one of the disturbing facts of the disease.

It's hard to imagine a loving elderly couple who have been through thick and thin together, but is slowly ripped apart by the symptoms of Alzheimer's and the declining health of the husband. Male

Alzheimer's sufferers can go from loving grandfathers to people who spit, kick, and punch their spouses. Or, they might pull a knife on anyone who comes near them.

Although these are extreme situations, aggression in Alzheimer's disease happens more often than you might think. Some family members perceive these aggressive outbursts as personal attacks. Yet, the aggression and tantrums of their elderly loved one is usually a way to express their feelings of helplessness and frustration.

Alzheimer's causes a sharp decline in cognitive skills, and patients can become disoriented, lose their memory, and find it complicated to express themselves. So, they lash out at their caregivers and blame them when they become distressed.

Why are Men More Aggressive Than Women with Alzheimer's?

In a study done by the Radiological Society of North America, it was determined that women developed a greater amount of gray matter atrophy in the brain than men before their Alzheimer's diagnosis. This was discovered on average about one year before their Alzheimer's diagnosis.

However, Alzheimer's disease developed much quicker in men than it did in women, and different parts of the brain had atrophy between men and women. Even though more research needs to be carried out, it is probable that the location of the brain where Alzheimer's occurs has an outcome of how aggressive men can be.

How to Lessen Alzheimer's Aggression in Men

Medication - Today, there are various Alzheimer's disease drugs that control mood swings, strengthen cognitive skills and lessen uncontrolled outbursts. Physicians need to monitor your loved one's condition closely to determine what types of medication might be best.

Set Limits - Although aggression and other violent behavior might be a part of some Alzheimer's disease patients, you've got to set limits. You might need the help of other medical professionals to stop fighting, screaming and kicking.

Understanding - It's necessary not to do anything that might cause uncertainty or frustrate your loved one. You should avoid all confrontations, and treat the patient with dignity. How would you feel if your slowly lost all of your skills and realized you weren't getting better? You would probably get angry eventually, too.

Activities - Seniors with Alzheimer's disease need to stay as active as they can. When possible, allow them to do easy household chores like simple cleaning, or wiping off dust and dirt. Long walks in the open air can be very therapeutic and help to lessen Alzheimer's aggression in men, too.

Look for Pain and Discomfort - Seniors with Alzheimer's disease might act in an angry way, because of pain or discomfort.

If they are taking medication, it could have side effects, such as headache, nausea, or other pain. They might also feel discomfort from elsewhere. That could be mental or physical, and caregivers need to look a little deeper for clues.

Treat Them Like Adults - As you notice some of the slow movements and look on your loved one's face, it can seem as if you are dealing with a child. However, you are dealing with an adult and you should continue to treat them that way. So, spare the baby talk and help them retain as many of their cognitive abilities as possible.

Daily Routines - Keep your loved one in daily rhythms with routines they are familiar with. Nothing frustrates Alzheimer's sufferers more than the unknown. Try your best to keep situations as ordinary as possible.

Is Alzheimer's More Aggressive in Men? - Conclusion

It might be good to point out that although Alzheimer's is more aggressive in men, the aggressiveness of the disease usually subsides, and in most cases can be controlled with the proper medication. With the help of science, maybe one day, Alzheimer's disease can be a thing of the past. Yet, until then, caregivers must learn how to treat its symptoms.
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