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Could Kindness and Generosity Be a Sign of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality health cover, examines signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.


senior citizen’s sudden propensity for philanthropy may be an early indicator of dementia.


67 participants around were paired with a stranger for a social experiment. Each pair received a small amount of money to divide between themselves. The test occurred to see who would share the most money.


Also, neurological tests were administered to the participants to assess their condition.


Those willing to give more money were frequently in a worse cognitive state. They showed a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease.


People should look out for increased generosity and changed behaviour in the elderly. It is not safe to assume that an elderly loved one has suddenly become more generous.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain ailment. It gradually impairs memory and cognitive reasoning. The capacity to perform even the simplest of tasks. In most patients, the onset of late-onset symptoms occurs around age 60.


Plaques and tangles in the brain are characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease. The loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain is another symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease.


Brain damage begins in memory-related regions of the brain. That includes the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. It later affects the cerebral cortex, language, logic, and social interaction. Eventually, many extra regions of the brain are compromised.

How Many South Africans Live With Alzheimer’s Disease?

There are 4.4 million people over 60 years living in South Africa. About 187 000 living with some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.


If the trends continue, the number of persons with Alzheimer’s disease will increase.


The duration between diagnosis and death varies. It ranges from as few as three or four years. That is if the patient is older than 80 when diagnosed to 10 or more years if they are younger.


“Alzheimer’s is now rated as the sixth biggest cause of mortality in the elderly worldwide. But recent projections suggest it may rank third. That is after heart disease and cancer,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But progress has been made in recent years in discovering and testing new treatments.”


Learn More: Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is the leading provider of affordable medical insurance in South Africa. Members enjoy access to a network of healthcare providers. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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