World Alzheimer Day

World Alzheimer Day is observed across the world on September 21, every year, with the objective of raising awareness of the disease, common symptoms, and risk factors. The day is significant as it aims to make people aware of the cause and severity of Alzheimer’s disease. In certain countries, the day is observed throughout the month. In this article, we will discuss the significance of the day along with Alzheimer’s disease.

As UPSC surprises aspirants with questions linked with what usually is assumed to be trivia; it is advisable that one must scroll through the facts about World Alzheimer Day to get the basic information. It can be asked in UPSC Prelims from the section of current affairs, if at all asked.

List of Current Affairs Articles for UPSC

Facts About World Alzheimer Day For UPSC Exam

Read the below-mentioned facts and aid your IAS Exam preparation along with other competitive exams’ preparation. 

Observed on 21 September
Important Information about Alzheimer Disease
  • As it is impossible to reverse the dead brain cells, Alzheimer’s is an incurable disease.
  • In comparison to Men, Women have a higher risk of having Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The cause of Alzheimer’s is the accumulation of amyloid-beta peptides (neurotoxic molecules) in the brain.
  • India stands at the third position after China and the USA in the number of Alzheimer’s patients.
Theme of 2021 Know dementia, Know Alzheimer’s

The topic can be asked as a Current Affairs Question in IAS Prelims. Visit the attached link to attempt practice quizzes on current affairs.

To read more about the other Important International and National days click on the link. Such days and events become very important for UPSC Prelims.

About Alzheimer Disease and Symptoms

Almost 50 million people are living with dementia globally, which is the leading cause of Alzheimer’s Disease. China has the highest Alzheimer’s affected population in the world. Let’s read about the disease and its symptoms:

  • Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain condition that gradually deteriorates memory and cognitive abilities and is the most likely cause of dementia in older people. 
  • Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative and progressive disease that slowly destroys memory and other functions related to memory. It happens when plagues containing amyloid-beta peptides continue to accumulate in the brain.
    • Peptide aggregation means their formation of one over the other which deforms the cortex of the brain and leads to Alzheimer’s.
    • It is similar to plaque which blocks arteries, affects blood supply and causes cardiovascular diseases.
  • Symptoms – Memory loss or Dementia is the key symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. Inability to recall recent events or discussions is the early symptom of the illness.
  • Some other symptoms of this disease are changes in mood, forgetting the recent information, challenges in solving problems, difficulty in completing familiar tasks at home or work, confusion with time or place, difficulty in reading, judging distance and recognizing colour, losing the track of date and time, misplacing the things or withdrawal from social and leisure activities.

Drugs and Discoveries for Alzheimer’s Disease

  • An Indian-American scientist at the University of New Mexico developed an early version vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease, in July 2019. The results of the Vaccine intervention have not been obtained as yet. But it is expected that the vaccine could rescue memory impairments and prevent neurons from dying.
  • China also approved the world’s first multi-targeting and carbohydrate-based drug GV-971 for Alzheimer’s, in November of 2019.

Background of World Alzheimer Day

  • Pythagoras, a Greek Philosopher in 7th century BC referred to the final years of human existence as “senium“, a term used to characterise the period of mental & physical deterioration.
  • The first case of Alzheimer was diagnosed in a 50-year-old German lady, in 1901 by Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist. This disorder was hence named after Alois Alzheimer.
  • Alzheimer Disease International was formed in 1984 and on the tenth anniversary in 1994, it was decided to inaugurate World Alzheimer’s Day, to be marked on September 21. World Alzheimer’s Month started in 2012.

Significance of World Alzheimer Day

  • World Alzheimer’s Day is observed to raise awareness and educate people about the severity of the disease and its symptoms.
  • Since Alzheimer disease is a prevalent kind of dementia that gradually causes memory loss and loss of cognitive capacity, so on this day and in this month people are educated, encouraged and given support to demystify dementia.
  • The theme of World Alzheimer’s Day 2021 was “Know dementia, Know Alzheimer’s.” 
  • The theme of World Alzheimer’s Day 2020 was “Let’s talk about dementia”.

Note: As UPSC 2022 approaches, use BYJU’S free Daily Video Analysis of The Hindu Newspaper to augment your preparation.

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