Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects memory and thinking skills. It occurs most often in older people, but it can also occur in younger adults.
The main cause of Alzheimer’s is a build-up of plaques and tangles in the brain. These plaques and tangles are made up of a protein called beta-amyloid.
That cause alzheimer
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia (degeneration in the brain). It is caused by a build-up of abnormal proteins called plaques and tangles. These tangles make it difficult for nerve cells to send messages and communicate with each other. They also cause the brain to lose connections between nerve cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and feeling.
It is thought that the damage starts years before symptoms begin. The damage causes the building up of clumps of proteins in and around the brain cells, including amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary (or tau) tangles. It is believed that these clumps of proteins block brain cells from communicating properly, causing the cells to die.
Researchers are trying to figure out how the build-up of these proteins begins in the brain. They think that it’s the result of a combination of things, including environmental and lifestyle factors.
One of the main risk factors is age. People who are older, especially those over 65, have a slightly higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease than younger people.
Another risk factor is a family history of the disease. If a first-degree relative — your parent or sibling — has Alzheimer’s, you have a higher chance of getting it yourself. However, this doesn’t mean you will develop it.
Scientists are also learning that some genes may increase your risk of getting dementia. The strongest risk gene is APOE, and a person with an APOE e4 allele has a much higher chance of developing Alzheimer’s than someone without the gene.
Other risk factors include smoking, drinking too much alcohol, having a head injury and being depressed or angry all the time. There are also certain chemicals in the body that are linked to dementia.
These chemicals help the nerve cells communicate with each other and tell them what to do. These chemicals are reduced in people with Alzheimer’s disease, so doctors try to increase the amount of these chemical messengers in the brain by using drugs or by changing your diet.
There are also other things that you can do to decrease your risk of getting Alzheimer’s or a related condition, such as dementia with Lewy bodies or frontotemporal dementia. Taking vitamins and supplements that contain vitamin C, E, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids may also be helpful. Staying physically and mentally active can also be beneficial.
Signs of alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s Disease occurs when nerve cells in the brain stop working correctly. It causes memory problems, confusion, and trouble thinking or planning. There is no known way to prevent Alzheimer’s, but a healthy lifestyle and exercise may help delay its onset.
The signs of alzheimer’s vary from person to person, but memory loss is often one of the first symptoms. Other signs include difficulty finding the right word, trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships, or impairment of reasoning or judgment.
These changes are more obvious to family members and others who know the person well. These symptoms should not be ignored because they could indicate a serious problem. Schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns and learn more about community support resources and planning for the future.
People with early-onset Alzheimer’s typically start to have symptoms around age 65, although some people start to develop it as young as their 30s. These symptoms include agitation, restlessness, repeated questions and calls out, disrupted sleep patterns, and sometimes hallucinations (imagining that someone is stealing from them or seeing things that are not there).
Mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, usually starts with some forgetfulness but doesn’t involve significant memory loss. Many people with MCI progress to dementia, and this happens in a gradual manner.
Some people with Alzheimer’s improve by taking medications called cholinesterase inhibitors. These drugs help increase the concentration of a brain chemical called acetylcholine in the nerve cells. These drugs can help with memory, thinking, and communication. But they also have side effects, including diarrhoea, muscle cramps, and tiredness.
Medicines such as donepezil (Namprazic) and memantine (Namenda) can be used to treat moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease. These medicines help brain cells communicate with each other better and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. They can also be used to help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, and treat sleep problems.
Other medications can be used to treat other symptoms of Alzheimer’s. These include anticholinergic medications, such as apraxia (a loss of voluntary movement) and agnosia (inability to understand the five senses).
There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, but treatments can improve or slow the progression of symptoms and help people cope with the condition. They can also improve the quality of life for patients, caregivers, and family members.
Treatment for alzheimer’s disease
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are medicines that can slow down or ease symptoms in some people. It is important to discuss the options with your doctor, and consider all the risks and benefits of using medication as part of your care plan.
Some of these drugs, known as cholinesterase inhibitors, increase levels of a brain chemical called acetylcholine. The acetylcholine helps nerve cells communicate with each other and can improve some symptoms of dementia. However, they only slightly improve symptoms and are not as effective in some dementia patients as other medications.
Another treatment for Alzheimer’s is a monoclonal antibody drug, aducanumab (Aduhelm). This medication reduces the buildup of plaque in the brain. It is currently the only drug approved by the FDA for this purpose.
A few other medicines are in early-stage clinical trials and are being tested to see whether they can help slow the progression of this disease. These include a combination of Namenda and Aricept, a drug called Namzaric and an NMDA receptor antagonist, memantine.
The medications can be taken orally, or by injection. They are safe to take for most people with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. They are typically given on a regular basis over time.
There are also medications for other symptoms that may happen along with Alzheimer’s, such as depression and anxiety. These are usually prescribed as “off-label” treatments by your doctor, who must provide a reason for using them and explain the potential side effects.
These can include antidepressants or antipsychotic drugs, which are often prescribed for depression and anxiety in Alzheimer’s patients. They can have unpleasant side effects and may cause drowsiness or dizziness.
A third type of medicine, called a neuroleptic agent, can help calm some of the more extreme behavioral problems that are often associated with this condition. These drugs are usually prescribed by a specialist, such as a psychiatrist or a psychiatric nurse.
Keeping a record of your loved one’s behavior can help you and their healthcare team decide what the next steps are. It can also be useful to join a support group, which can help you to feel less alone and gain some tips from other carers.
How to prevent alzheimer’s disease
If you’re at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, you can take steps to reduce your chances. These include eating a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoiding certain habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol. These lifestyle changes may also help prevent other conditions that increase your risk of Alzheimer’s, including heart disease and diabetes.
Most people develop Alzheimer’s disease in their late 60s or early 70s. However, some people begin to experience symptoms in their 30s or 40s. This is called “early-onset” Alzheimer’s. It’s not known what causes this type of Alzheimer’s.
Some studies show that people with this type of Alzheimer’s have a genetic predisposition for the condition. In these cases, it’s usually the result of a single gene that has been passed down from parents or grandparents. In these cases, the chance of developing the disease is a lot higher than in other types of Alzheimer’s.
The genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s is one reason why it is so common among older people. But other factors, like the environment and overall health, may play a role as well.
Many different kinds of medicines have been found to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. Some of these drugs can boost the levels of some chemical messengers in your brain that allow cells to communicate with each other. These messages are important for memory and thinking.
These drugs, which can be taken once or twice a day, include memantine (Namenda), donepezil (Namzaric), and rivastigmine (Exelon). They are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease.
They also can be used for other brain problems, such as dementia or psychiatric disorders. You should discuss these options with your doctor.
Another way to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s is to be sure you are not exposed to head trauma or other conditions that can cause a brain injury. For example, people who have been in a car crash or fall off a bike without wearing a helmet are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s years later.
It’s also important to avoid certain toxins that can damage the brain, such as environmental chemicals and high levels of metals in your body. These substances can cause changes in the brain, such as a buildup of plaques and tangles. They can lead to a decline in mental and physical functioning, which is the main cause of dementia.