Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that affects people as they get older. It causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.
It is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain. That happens because of 2 proteins that build up in the brain, called plaques and tangles.
That cause alzheimer
Alzheimer’s Disease is a brain disorder that causes memory loss and cognitive decline. It occurs in two main forms — early-onset and late-onset — with symptoms usually appearing between a person’s 30s and mid-60s.
While many factors contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s, increasing age is the most common risk factor. A family history of the disease is also a risk factor, as is having Down syndrome. Those with a first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop the disease themselves than those without such a family history.
Scientists have discovered that certain brain proteins interfere with the normal function of nerve cells (neurons). These changes can cause damage to neuron connections and eventually lead to the death of neurons.
These protein buildups are called amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. They form in areas of the brain responsible for learning, memory and processing information. This is what causes the symptoms of dementia – loss of memory and the ability to perform daily activities such as cooking, dressing and taking medication.
Although the exact cause of Alzheimer’s is still unknown, scientists think it occurs because of an abnormal buildup of certain proteins in and outside of brain cells. Genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors may also contribute to the disease.
A number of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels can increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. These include heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you have these conditions, work with your doctor to manage them and avoid complications.
Another risk factor for Alzheimer’s is head injury. Some studies have found a link between the buildup of plaques and tangles in the brain and a major head injury.
There’s no known way to prevent Alzheimer’s, but you can take steps to reduce your risk of getting the disease. For example, eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. It’s also a good idea to stay socially active, which is important for your mental health.
Research suggests that people with a rare genetic mutation called APOE e2 may have some protection against Alzheimer’s. Those with this allele have about a 50% chance of developing the disease later in life than those without it.
Signs of alzheimer’s disease
Memory loss, or difficulty remembering things, is one of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also a sign that a person with the disease is getting older, and that their brain is starting to break down.
However, not all memory problems are a sign of Alzheimer’s. Some may be due to a medical problem or the normal aging process.
People with dementia often have difficulty with memory and thinking, including making decisions and dealing with complex issues. This makes it hard to do things like balance checkbooks and pay bills on time. It can also be difficult to recognize numbers and do simple math.
Many of these symptoms start slowly and are not obvious at first, but as the disease progresses they become more severe and interfere with a person’s day-to-day life.
For example, a person with dementia might forget where they went to school or how to get home. They might also be confused about which day of the week it is, or where they are in the world.
Another symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is difficulty remembering details, such as names or faces. This is common because people with the disease tend to have a short attention span and forget things easily.
Other early signs of Alzheimer’s disease include changes in personality, such as a change in mood or behavior. Some people with Alzheimer’s disease may become agitated or anxious, and others have groundless suspicions about their family and caregivers (delusions).
These changes are more common as the disease progresses. They can be a sign of depression, apathy or anxiety, and they could make it harder for the person with Alzheimer’s to live independently at home.
If a loved one begins to experience any of these changes, it is important to get them help as soon as possible. This will help them to continue living at home as long as possible and protect their quality of life.
Doctors look for the signs of alzheimer’s disease by doing mental status exams, asking questions and using tests that help them to find out how a person’s memory is working. They can also order medical tests, such as MRI or CT scans to take a detailed picture of the person’s brain.
Treatment for alzheimer’s disease
Medications can’t cure Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, but they can sometimes slow down the progression of symptoms and make it easier for people to live with the condition. They may also help with mood, agitation and other behavioral issues. They are sometimes prescribed by a specialist doctor, such as a psychiatrist or neuropsychiatrist.
Currently, the most common medications used for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s are cholinesterase inhibitors, such as galantamine (Razadyne), donepezil and rivastigmine. These drugs can increase levels of acetylcholine, a chemical in your brain that helps nerve cells communicate with each other.
Another drug, called memantine, works by preventing certain brain cells from dying in people with severe Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown that this drug can help people with the condition maintain their ability to eat, walk, use the bathroom and perform other tasks for a longer period of time.
Memantine, as well as some other treatments for the disease, is only available through clinical trials. Individuals who are interested in participating in these studies can use a free service called TrialMatch, offered by the Alzheimer’s Association.
A new monoclonal antibody drug called aducanumab recently received FDA approval for treatment of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, the stage where symptoms begin before the person has any dementia. It works by reducing the number of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain.
These protein clumps can form plaques and tangles in the brain that block the communication between nerve cells, which prevents them from functioning properly. The clumps can also cause nerve cells to die, resulting in the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers have found that when people with Alzheimer’s take cholinesterase inhibitors, their memory, thinking and behavior improve. They can be taken by mouth or applied to a skin patch.
Some of these medicines can also be given by injection. They work by blocking the action of a protein in your body, called tau. These drugs can also be used in combination with other treatments, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicines.
If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, you should get your doctor to check for these diseases, as they can be a sign that you might develop it yourself someday. Your GP can also talk to you about how to prevent these conditions and what treatment options are available, if you do get diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
How to prevent alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s Disease is a chronic (long-term) illness that affects nearly 6.5 million people in the US. It causes a progressive decline in the brain’s ability to think, remember and function.
The cause of Alzheimer’s is not fully understood, but it’s believed that a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors may contribute to the condition. Less than 1% of people have a hereditary form of the disease, which means they’re born with specific changes in their genes that make them more likely to develop it when they get older.
During the course of Alzheimer’s, certain proteins build up in the brain and prevent it from communicating with other cells. They also clump together, forming ‘plaques’ and ‘tangles’ that kill nerve cells. These tangles can cause the brain to shrink, which worsens symptoms and makes it more difficult for people to remember things or respond appropriately to their surroundings.
A healthy lifestyle is the best way to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Regular exercise, a good diet and social activities can all help keep your brain functioning at its best.
You can also try to improve your sleep habits. Getting enough sleep is important for your overall health, and it can also help flush out chemicals in the brain.
It’s also a good idea to follow a diet that’s rich in fresh fruit and vegetables. This type of diet is known to have a protective effect against the development of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, because it reduces your risk of inflammation and insulin resistance.
Eating a Mediterranean diet is another good choice, as it’s high in antioxidants and other nutrients that protect the brain from damage. Several studies have shown that this type of diet can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 40%.
In addition, a regular exercise program can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementias by up to 50%. Physical activity can also help to prevent the development of other chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, which also have a negative impact on your brain health.