Alzheimer’s disease is a serious disorder that affects memory and thinking. There’s no cure, but treatment can help stabilise or slow the progression of symptoms and improve quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s.
At a basic level, brain proteins fail to function normally. This disrupts the work of brain cells (neurons) and triggers a series of toxic events.
That cause alzheimer
Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes memory loss and changes in thinking, personality and behavior. It’s the most common type of dementia, and it’s caused by a group of different factors.
Increasing age is the most important risk factor for Alzheimer’s, but other factors may also play a role. Having a family history of the condition, for example, increases your chances of getting it.
Gender and race are other factors that affect your risk of getting the disease. Women are more likely than men to get the disease, and it’s more common among people with certain ethnicities.
Genetics is another factor that increases your risk of developing Alzheimer’s. You can develop the condition if you have genetic variations that increase the amount of beta-amyloid plaques in your brain.
Some other genes are associated with a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s or another kind of dementia. Some of these variations increase the production of a protein called tau. Tangles of this protein disrupt the transport system that brain cells use to carry nutrients and other materials.
As these tangles grow, they damage healthy brain cells. The damaged cells die, causing the brain to shrink.
Other factors that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s include strokes and problems with your heart or blood vessels. These conditions can reduce the amount of blood flow to your brain, which can affect the way you think and remember.
When blood flows more easily to your brain, it can help keep the tangles and plaques from building up. However, it’s important to keep your heart and blood vessels in good health.
You can lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia by working with your doctor to maintain good cardiovascular health. This can include monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as taking steps to protect your heart and blood vessels from further damage.
You might also try to avoid alcohol, which has been shown to cause a number of different brain changes. Eating a healthy diet, maintaining an active lifestyle, and not smoking can also reduce your risk of developing the disease.
Signs of alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease affects memory, thinking and reasoning skills. The symptoms are often severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Many of the signs of Alzheimer’s are different from those that can happen to normal aging people. They are based on how much damage has been done to the brain.
Some of these changes can be a result of other health conditions or problems, so they need to be checked out by a doctor. It is always better to get the right diagnosis as soon as possible so that the appropriate treatment can be started.
The most common symptom is memory lapses, and these can start as early as middle age. Other symptoms may include mood and personality changes, such as increased anxiety or agitation, or periods of confusion.
These changes can make it difficult for someone with Alzheimer’s to interact with others. They can also be a sign that the disease is getting worse.
Another symptom is trouble with everyday activities like walking, eating, and using the toilet. Having trouble performing these tasks can make it difficult to do things around the home, such as shopping or preparing meals.
In the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, people start to become immobile and dependent on others to help them with their daily routines. This can be a distressing time for them and their families.
Those with Alzheimer’s also have trouble expressing their thoughts and emotions, and they can lose control of their speech. These changes are called aphasia.
They can also start to call people by the wrong name, or forget where they live. They also develop poor judgment, such as giving away large amounts of money to telemarketers or paying for home repairs they don’t need.
The main way of knowing if you or a loved one has Alzheimer’s is by asking them questions and looking for changes in their behaviour. You can also ask them about their family history, which may reveal a higher risk of developing the disease.
Treatment for alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that damages and destroys nerve cells in the brain. The damage can lead to memory loss, difficulty with thinking, and other problems. It also may lead to changes in behavior, mood, and personality.
There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, but medications can slow cognitive decline or help with symptoms. Some are available without a prescription, and others require a doctor’s order.
Medications that prevent the breakdown of a brain chemical called acetylcholine, which helps to send messages between certain types of nerve cells, are the most common. Taking one of these medicines, such as donepezil (Aricept), galantamine (Reminyl), and rivastigmine (Exelon), can help slow the rate of cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s.
Other Alzheimer’s treatments include some that target a protein that causes plaques and tangles in the brain. These are called disease-modifying therapies, or anti-amyloid drugs. The first anti-amyloid drug to be approved for Alzheimer’s is aducanumab, marketed as Aduhelm by Biogen Inc.
It’s the only anti-amyloid drug that’s been shown to slow the progression of the disease in people with early-stage dementia. To qualify for this therapy, people must have progressive weakness in their memory or thinking and have evidence of amyloid deposits in the brain.
Researchers are working to develop new drugs and other therapies that can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s or help people with the disease. They’re testing these drugs in clinical trials, which usually involve a combination of drug therapies and other nondrug interventions.
A cholinesterase inhibitor can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, and is the most common treatment. These medicines, such as donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon), and galantamine (Razydyne), increase the level of acetylcholine in the brain.
But if the drug doesn’t work, or if you or your loved one experience side effects, it can be difficult to continue taking it. Many patients end up discontinuing it because they feel that it’s no longer helpful, says Karlawish.
It’s a good idea to monitor your loved one’s mental, emotional and behavioral changes. If you notice significant or concerning changes, ask your healthcare team for more information. You can also contact a local Alzheimer’s Association affiliate for more resources and referrals.
How to prevent alzheimer’s disease
There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing it. These include getting enough sleep, managing your weight and avoiding dietary habits that can increase your risk of the disease.
The most important way to prevent Alzheimer’s is to make sure you are healthy and have good mental health. This means staying socially active, taking regular exercise and eating a healthy diet.
Researchers are now exploring ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease by modifying the risk factors that put people at risk of developing the condition. These factors include age, genetics and lifestyle.
A new study shows that a number of lifestyle changes can help lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, including being physically active, maintaining healthy weight, and eating a heart-healthy diet.
These lifestyle changes can help improve your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. And they can also help you avoid stress, depression and head trauma, which are all risk factors for Alzheimer’s.
One study found that two large, long-term studies show that a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and not smoking can cut your risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 50%. Another study found that a Mediterranean diet, which includes a lot of fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products, can cut your risk by up to 40%.
Having too much sugar in your diet can also increase your risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementia. It can also increase inflammation in your body, which can wreak havoc on the brain.
The best way to keep your weight under control is to eat a balanced diet that includes fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. Avoiding processed and fast foods that contain a lot of salt, sugar and fat can also help you lose weight.
If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, it can lead to a buildup of plaques in your brain and slow down the brain’s ability to communicate. These plaques can eventually cause Alzheimer’s, affecting your memory and thinking skills.