Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. It also causes changes in behavior and personality.
Everyone forgets things from time to time, but people with Alzheimer’s have more trouble remembering information and completing tasks than others of the same age.
These changes are caused by damage to the brain, including proteins called amyloid plaques and tau tangles. These build up over years, affecting different parts of the brain.
That cause alzheimer
Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a build-up of proteins in and around brain cells. The proteins, known as amyloid plaques and tau tangles, block the communication between brain cells. This causes the brain to shrink and damage nerve cells. This process is thought to begin many years before symptoms appear.
Aging and family history are the most common risk factors for Alzheimer’s, but other health conditions and head trauma can also increase your risk of developing dementia. Other known risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity.
Women have a higher risk for Alzheimer’s than men. This may be due to genetics and changes in estrogen levels over a woman’s lifetime.
Familial Alzheimer’s: This rare type of Alzheimer’s is caused by genetic changes passed down from parents to children. It’s less common than late-onset Alzheimer’s, but it tends to worsen more quickly.
Early-onset Alzheimer’s: This type of Alzheimer’s is caused by a build-up of amyloid plaques in the brain that begin in the person’s 40s or 50s. It is much less common than late-onset Alzheimer’s, making up about 5% of all Alzheimer’s cases.
Dementia can affect people of any age, but it’s most common in people over 65. It usually begins with memory loss, but can also cause problems with thinking, reasoning and judgment.
Symptoms of dementia can vary from day to day and can become more severe in times of stress, fatigue or ill health. This is why it’s important to have a thorough medical exam to identify dementia symptoms and to rule out other possible causes.
The correct diagnosis helps your healthcare provider plan treatment that will help ease your symptoms and improve your quality of life. It also gives you and your family members a better chance of planning for the future.
As the disease progresses, a person’s ability to carry out daily activities will decline. This can include trouble finding the right words, difficulty handling money and losing things or misplacing them in strange places.
The symptoms of dementia can be frustrating and distressing for a person and their loved ones. It is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible so that your loved one can get relief and improve their quality of life.
Signs of alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s Disease is a brain condition that can cause problems with memory, thinking and behavior. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s are caused by a build-up of two substances in the brain, called amyloid plaques and tau tangles. These clumps make it difficult for the brain to function properly and kill healthy cells.
The risk of getting Alzheimer’s depends on many factors. One of the most important is your age. People over 65 have the highest risk of developing Alzheimer’s, but it can happen at any age.
Another risk factor is alcohol use. Large amounts of alcohol can change how the brain works. It can also affect sleep patterns and increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
It’s possible to lower your risk of getting Alzheimer’s by changing your lifestyle. Regular exercise, eating a low-fat diet and staying away from tobacco smoke are all ways to reduce your risk.
Having a family history of Alzheimer’s is also a risk factor. About 1% of cases are linked to specific genetic changes that almost guarantee a person will get the disease. However, it’s not always easy to detect these changes in someone who hasn’t yet started experiencing dementia symptoms.
As Alzheimer’s progresses, the symptoms of the disease will gradually worsen. These symptoms include memory loss and other cognitive abilities such as language, attention and judgement. They are usually classified into three stages, each with its own set of symptoms.
The first stage of Alzheimer’s is usually called preclinical Alzheimer’s. This is where changes in the brain begin before memory and thinking problems start to occur.
You may be able to identify this phase by noticing changes in your loved one’s personality or behavior. They might become confused, suspicious or depressed. They might lose interest in activities they used to enjoy and feel uneasy about new situations.
Your GP will help you to identify whether these changes are typical age-related problems or signs of Alzheimer’s. They will ask you about your day-to-day life and may carry out a physical or neurological examination, blood tests and scans of the brain to help diagnose the condition.
Treatment for alzheimer’s disease
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are medications that can slow the progress of the disease and help relieve symptoms. Some of these medicines are already available and others are being developed.
A few experimental treatments in development target microscopic clumps of the protein beta-amyloid (plaques) that form in the brain and tau proteins that tangle inside cells. These drugs may prevent the clumps from forming or remove them from the brain and improve memory.
Some of these treatments are in late-stage clinical trials, and they will be available if the data is good enough to show the FDA approval. One of these drugs is a monoclonal antibody called aducanumab, which is in a clinical trial to reduce the amount of plaques in the brain and slow down disease progression.
Other medicines that can be used to treat the disease include cholinesterase inhibitors, which block the action of the enzyme that breaks down choline, which helps nerve cells communicate with each other. These drugs can help people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
For severe Alzheimer’s, doctors often prescribe a drug called memantine (Ebixa or Axura). This medication blocks the production of another neurotransmitter in the brain that can cause cell death. It can also relieve some of the symptoms of the disease, such as memory loss and confusion.
Doctors may also use medicines to manage behavioral problems that occur in people with Alzheimer’s, such as sleeplessness, agitation, aggression and wandering. These are sometimes called “adverse behaviors.” Scientists have found that medicines to treat these can make life with the disease less stressful and help people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers cope better.
Many of these medicines are used as supplements, and some are taken as a pill. It’s important to talk with your doctor about any side effects from these drugs.
The right medicine for you will depend on your age, health conditions and medical history. Your doctor will also consider other factors, such as whether you have any other illnesses or diseases that might interfere with the effectiveness of your medication.
How to prevent alzheimer’s disease
There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, but scientists are learning that some people can prevent it from developing. They’re finding that one out of three cases can be prevented by modifying a person’s lifestyle and managing certain medical conditions.
The first step in preventing alzheimer’s is to know your family history. If you have a parent or sibling with the disease, your risk of developing it is higher. You also have a greater chance of developing the disease if you’re older than 65 years old or have certain health problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Having a healthy diet is another way to prevent alzheimer’s, and eating well can help you feel good and reduce your stress levels. Try to eat foods that are low in sugar and fat. You should also eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Studies show that a healthy diet helps you focus better on tasks and stay mentally engaged, which can improve your memory. In addition, a diet that includes plenty of fiber and a variety of nutrients can reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s.
Exercise is also a key part of preventing alzheimer’s. Regular physical activity can boost your mood and mental health, increase your energy levels, and enhance your social skills. In addition, it can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk for heart disease.
You should also try to sleep regularly, which will strengthen your natural circadian rhythms. Getting enough sleep is important for brain function and can slow the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Some research suggests that physical exercise can help the brain process new information and improve its memory. It can also increase your overall fitness level and decrease your stress levels.
It’s a good idea to try to get more exercise throughout your life, but especially as you age. You can start by taking short walks at your local park or joining a gym. You can even sign up for a class at your community center or senior center.
There are also many activities that can help you develop cognitive skills, such as reading and playing chess. These activities can also help you to maintain your social skills and improve your communication abilities.