Alzheimer’s disease is a serious, progressive condition that slowly destroys memory and thinking abilities. The disease is not preventable, but treatments can help ease symptoms and improve quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s and their families.
It begins with abnormal changes in the brain. These changes include the buildup of protein deposits, called plaques and tangles, in and around brain cells.
That cause alzheimer
Alzheimer’s is an age-related disorder that causes problems with memory and thinking. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, lifestyle and environmental influences.
It’s a progressive disease, which means it gets worse over time. It can cause a person to lose their ability to remember and interact with others, which can be devastating for them and their loved ones. The disease is usually diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, but it can affect younger people as well.
Researchers don’t know exactly what causes Alzheimer’s disease, but they think it involves changes in the brain that lead to memory loss and other problems. This happens because of the buildup of sticky clumps of proteins called plaques and tangles that surround nerve cells. These clumps are toxic and can damage the healthy brain cells around them, which can then die.
Some people with Alzheimer’s disease also develop a protein called beta-amyloid in the brain. This protein is known to trigger the clumps of sticky proteins that form plaques and tangles in the brain.
Other changes that occur with Alzheimer’s can include a loss of short-term memory and confusion about where things are. These symptoms can lead to mood swings and other problems that can make it difficult for people with Alzheimer’s to live on their own.
A family history of dementia is another risk factor. People who have a parent or sibling with Alzheimer’s have a greater chance of developing the disease, and they may be more likely to start experiencing symptoms before they reach age 60.
The most common forms of dementia are Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, which can be caused by blood vessel problems in the brain. This can be a result of hardening of the arteries and other conditions.
These conditions may reduce the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, which can then lead to brain cell damage and inflammation. They can also increase the amount of toxic proteins in the brain, like amyloid and tau.
Certain medications can also help with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. For example, a drug called donepezil (Aricept) can treat some mild-to-moderate forms of Alzheimer’s.
Signs of alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease causes problems with memory and thinking. It can also cause changes in mood and personality. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s are not always easy to see or identify, but they can help you understand if your loved one is suffering from dementia.
Memory loss is the first sign that a person has Alzheimer’s disease. This may happen quickly or gradually. For example, a person might forget where the grocery store is or his or her spouse’s name. He or she might ask the same questions over and over, or need to rely on family members for things that they used to do without help.
Other signs of Alzheimer’s disease include trouble with language, such as describing objects instead of using their names. This is especially common in people with early Alzheimer’s.
Problems with thinking and planning are another symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. It can be difficult for a person to remember how many bills to pay or which ones have to be paid next. He or she might have difficulty balancing a checkbook or even knowing how much food to buy at the grocery store.
If you or a loved one notice some of the signs listed below, it is important to discuss these with your doctor. This can help you get a proper diagnosis and learn more about your treatment options.
The disease is caused by a build-up of abnormal proteins (amyloid and tau) in the brain cells. These proteins can damage the brain and cause it to stop working properly. The deposits cause plaques and tangles to form around the brain cells, making it hard for them to send the right messages to other parts of the brain.
Researchers are still trying to figure out how the protein build-up is caused. They think that it happens over time, starting with small changes in the chemicals that control the way brain cells talk to each other. These changes make it harder for the brain to use a chemical called acetylcholine, which helps transmit messages between nerve cells.
Some symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can be treated with medication. This may help slow the progress of the disease or give you and your loved one more time to live independently. If you have questions about your memory, ask your doctor. They can do tests to find out if you have the condition and provide advice on how to manage the condition.
Treatment for alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, irreversible brain disorder that affects more than 6.5 million people in the United States. It causes memory loss and cognitive decline, as well as other symptoms such as confusion and agitation. It is thought to be caused by a build-up of amyloid plaque and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain.
These plaques and tangles inhibit communication among nerve cells in the brain, which may lead to symptoms of memory loss, dementia, and other declines in thinking skills. Drugs that remove the plaque or tangles may not cure the disease, but they can help slow its progression.
Some drugs work by boosting the levels of a chemical messenger called acetylcholine in the brain, which is important for alertness, memory, thinking and judgment. These medicines can improve symptoms in about half of the people who take them, and they last for up to 6 months or longer.
Other medications can reduce or control some of the more common behavioral and psychological symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s, including sleep disturbances, agitation, hallucinations and delusions. These drugs can be taken as tablets, capsules or skin patches.
Another type of drug focuses on lowering amyloid levels in the brain, a common cause of Alzheimer’s. Lecanemab (Aricept), a beta amyloid antibody, has been shown to significantly slow the rate of clinical decline in Alzheimer’s patients compared with a placebo group in clinical trials.
Memantine (Namenda) is a medication that helps keep certain brain cells healthier in moderate to severe Alzheimer’s. It has been shown to increase attention and improve memory and language in some people with the disease. It can also lower delusions, paranoia and confusion in some patients.
Cholinesterase inhibitors (KOH-lin-ES-tur-ays) boost the amount of acetylcholine in the bloodstream, preventing its breakdown in the brain. These medications can improve some memory and thinking problems and help reduce some behavioral symptoms in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.
They may be used together with a cholinesterase inhibitor for maximum benefit. They are given as pills, extended-release capsules or a skin patch and can be taken once a day, twice a day or three times a day.
How to prevent alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a build-up of proteins in and around brain cells. These proteins form abnormal structures called plaques and tangles that block the communication between nerve cells. As these structures grow and clump together, nerve cells become damaged and die.
In the brain, there are billions of nerve cells that communicate with each other. These nerve cells are crucial for thinking, learning, remembering and planning. The brain also contains chemicals that help to send messages between these cells. These ‘chemical messengers’ are particularly low in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease, and these chemical messengers can help to slow the development of symptoms of this disease.
Although the exact causes of Alzheimer’s aren’t known, scientists have found that the condition can start in the brain many years before a person develops symptoms of the disease. This process begins in the hippocampus, a region of the brain that controls memory.
Scientists think that amyloid protein and twisted fibers of another protein, tau, start building up inside nerve cells in the hippocampus. Plaques and tangles begin to form in other parts of the brain as well.
The proteins that form these plaques and tangles, amyloid and tau, disrupt the nerve cells’ normal function. The resulting damage to the neurons is what triggers the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Research has shown that some lifestyle choices, such as exercise and eating a healthy diet, can protect the brain and possibly reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. These lifestyle changes can be easy to make and have few drawbacks, allowing you to lead a healthier life for longer.
Keeping the blood flowing to the brain by exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and maintaining an adequate amount of sleep is all important for preventing dementias like Alzheimer’s disease. These lifestyle changes may also help to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease, which are known to be associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Avoiding heavy alcohol consumption is another way to keep the brain healthy and may lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. It is also recommended that you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day to promote your natural circadian rhythms. This can also help to regulate your mood and improve your cognitive function.
Do I have a hoarding disorder? I have closets crammed full of stuff. Stacks of 5 or 6 boxes. Every surface piled with more stuff!
Moving to a much smaller house has created a crisis of clutter for us. Not just personal stuff. Hundreds of video tapes and scripts from television series. Paperwork. Memorabilia We’re living in a rummage sale!
Before sorting through a box to decide what to keep, I have to clear a flat surface. But where do I put that stuff? Then I need find a place for the ‘keepers.’
It’s been confronting. Emotional. And difficult. And I’m starting to wonder do I have a Hoarding Disorder?!
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – (Amazon)
Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on The Art of Organizing and Tidying Up – w
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo – o