Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. It happens when plaques and tangles develop in your brain.
These build up from a protein called beta-amyloid. They block communication between nerve cells, causing them to die.
Medications may help slow or control the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. They work by curbing the breakdown of a brain chemical called acetylcholine. These include donepezil (Aricept), galantamine (Razadyne) and rivastigmine (Exelon).
That cause alzheimer
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a group of disorders that cause a person to have problems with memory and thinking. It happens when brain cells become damaged and die. Although the cause is still unknown, scientists believe that it may involve genetics and other factors.
The risk for Alzheimer’s disease increases with age. Developing the disease is not a normal part of aging, and it’s also not inherited.
Increasing age is the most well-known risk factor, but it’s not the only one. Many other factors can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s, such as head trauma or health conditions that damage the brain or blood vessels.
Researchers also think that heart disease and high blood pressure can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s. Working with your doctor to manage these diseases and other risk factors can help lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Another major risk factor is having a family history of Alzheimer’s. If a parent or sibling has Alzheimer’s, your risk of developing the condition increases by about 25% to 30%. The gene APOE-e4 plays a role in this, as does the presence of other risk genes.
While it’s not known what causes Alzheimer’s, research suggests that a buildup of certain proteins in the brain causes damage to the neurons. Those proteins can form plaques and tangles in the brain that can block neurons from sending messages to each other.
These plaques and tangles can lead to the death of neurons, and the loss of important functions like memory and thinking. Because these proteins build up over time, they can damage the entire brain.
A buildup of tau proteins inside neurons can disrupt a cell’s internal support system and transport system, which helps it carry nutrients and other essential materials to the outside. Excess tau can also change shape and organize into tangled fibers, which are called neurofibrillary tangles.
These two abnormal changes can lead to the death of brain cells and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, these proteins can damage the brain cells in other ways, too. This leads to a wide range of symptoms that can make it hard to perform daily tasks.
Signs of alzheimer’s disease
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease may be difficult to spot at first because they develop slowly over time. Getting a diagnosis early can help you and your family plan for the future and get treatment if needed.
The most common sign of Alzheimer’s Disease is memory problems. People with the disease regularly forget recent events, names and faces and find it hard to remember things when they need to. This can make it hard to carry out daily tasks and can affect their ability to take part in conversations.
A person with the disease might also struggle to find the right words when talking to friends or relatives and be confused about their surroundings. They may lose track of time and misplace items, such as their keys. They can also become anxious or upset about changing their routine, for example when moving house or travelling abroad.
There are several processes that happen in the brain during Alzheimer’s Disease, such as deposits of amyloid plaques around the brain cells and neurofibrillary tangles inside the cells. These changes stop the brain cells from sending messages properly. They can also cause the cells to shrink.
Other signs of Alzheimer’s Disease include changes in personality, mood and behaviour. These are usually noticeable by a family member or friend. In some cases, people don’t recognise these changes because they are unaware that their memory is deteriorating.
One of the best ways to know if you have the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease is to talk to your GP. They can arrange a physical and neurological exam, lab tests and brain imaging to check your memory and thinking skills.
Another way to tell if you have Alzheimer’s Disease is by asking your GP about any changes in your behaviour and personality. If you have any questions or concerns, speak to your GP as soon as possible and they can refer you to a specialist.
There are many other signs of Alzheimer’s Disease that are more difficult to notice at first. For example, someone with the disease might forget why they walked into a room. It is also very common for people with Alzheimer’s Disease to get lost in unfamiliar places, especially when they are traveling.
Treatment for alzheimer’s disease
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are medications and non-drug therapies that may help ease symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Treatment options vary for each person, so it is important to discuss your diagnosis and treatment plan with your doctor.
Medications that are available for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s include cholinesterase inhibitors (donepezil, galantamine and rivastigmine). They prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a brain chemical thought to be important for memory and thinking. These drugs can also reduce or stop certain behavioral changes, including agitation and aggression.
These medications are generally given in low doses for a short time, and then increased as necessary. They also often have mild side effects, including nausea and fatigue.
To treat moderate to severe Alzheimer’s, your doctor may prescribe memantine (Ebixa or Axura). Memantine helps nerve cells in the brain communicate with each other by regulating a chemical called glutamate in the brain. This can allow them to work better for longer and help to reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease for a while.
If your symptoms are severe, you doctor may prescribe another drug, such as risperidone (Risperdal), which is designed to block the formation of beta-amyloid plaques and tangles that form in the brain. This drug is given intravenously (IV) via a 45- to 60-minute infusion every 4 weeks.
Research is ongoing to find more-effective Alzheimer’s drugs. For example, a newer medication known as aducanumab (Aduhelm) may help to reduce the protein plaques that build up in the brain in early stages of Alzheimer’s. It is not approved for use in MCI, but studies have shown that it can improve cognitive abilities and slow the progress of the disease.
Other medications can relieve symptoms such as agitation and aggression, but they have more serious side effects. These can cause drowsiness, dizziness and even a loss of consciousness.
Talk with your doctor about whether you might be able to participate in clinical trials testing new medications for Alzheimer’s disease. These studies are a great way to help scientists find more effective treatments.
How to prevent alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia, but it’s also a rare form that can strike people younger than 65. Researchers do not know what causes it, but it’s possible that a person’s genes could make them more likely to develop it.
A person’s risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease depends on a few factors, including age and gender. If you have a family history of the disease, it’s even more important to keep your risk as low as possible.
One of the most important ways to help reduce your risk is to avoid smoking. Smoking can cause brain damage and accelerate the aging process. By stopping smoking, you can lower your risk by almost 80%!
Another way to help protect against Alzheimer’s is to eat a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants, which help your body fight off free radicals that cause damage to your cells.
You should also exercise regularly, if possible. This will improve your overall health and prevent the onset of other medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes.
The most important thing is to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are full of nutrients that can help your brain. Having a good diet can also prevent other diseases, such as cancer or high blood pressure.
It’s also a good idea to take part in activities that are mentally stimulating. Cognitive training, such as crossword puzzles and memory games, can help your brain stay sharper for longer.
Taking part in social and community activities is another important way to help your mind stay active. It can improve your mood and decrease your anxiety.
If you’re worried about your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, talk to your doctor. There are a number of medications that can help reduce your risk. They’re available at most pharmacies, and some can be taken with food. These medications can also be used to treat the symptoms of the disease, such as trouble with memory and thinking.