What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

What is Alzheimers Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. It is a progressive brain disorder that leads to memory loss, thinking problems, and other changes. It starts a decade or more before symptoms appear. Aging and family history are risk factors.

Doctors diagnose it with a series of tests and procedures. Early signs include memory problems and a decline in other skills, such as finding words or making decisions.

That cause alzheimer

Alzheimer’s disease is an illness that destroys brain cells, resulting in memory problems and other mental impairments. Its symptoms get worse over time and affect a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks. People with severe Alzheimer’s need constant care and often need a nurse or other medical professionals to help them bathe, dress and eat.

The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not fully understood, but scientists know that two proteins build up inside the brain and kill the cells. One is called amyloid, which builds up into plaques around the dead cells. The other is tau, which forms tangles within the dying cells. It’s also thought that a decrease in chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) that send signals between brain cells contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s.

Early signs of Alzheimer’s include forgetfulness that gets progressively worse over time, such as not remembering recent events or conversations. Other symptoms include trouble with simple tasks such as balancing a checkbook, playing a game or following directions. People with Alzheimer’s may also become more confused, even in familiar places, and need help dressing or preparing meals. They also lose control of their bladder and bowels, which can lead to dehydration or infection.

Alzheimer’s is more common as we age, and most people with the disease are 65 or older. A person’s risk of getting the disease increases with each passing year, and it nearly doubles every five years after age 65. A family history of Alzheimer’s or a specific gene called APOE-e4 also increases the chances of developing the condition.

Other risk factors include a history of head injury, smoking and high cholesterol levels. A person who has a stroke or other serious head injury is at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s than someone who does not, particularly if the injury happened several times or was very severe. People who have vascular dementia, which is caused by poor blood supply to the brain, are also at higher risk for Alzheimer’s. A person’s lifestyle can also increase or decrease their risk of developing the disease, including diet, exercise and stress management.

Signs of alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease gradually destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and other mental problems. People in the early stages of the disease may have trouble keeping track of dates or events, forget where they are or who they are, or struggle to follow a conversation. As Alzheimer’s progresses, people will need more and more help with daily tasks. They will forget how to do things like get dressed or cook a meal, and they will lose their ability to recognize faces. They will also start to use less familiar words and may misplace things or put them in unusual places. They might stop paying attention to their personal hygiene, and they may have difficulty chewing and swallowing. They may also become suspicious of those around them and start to withdraw from social activities.

People with Alzheimer’s often experience hallucinations and delusions, which can be frightening for them and their loved ones. These symptoms may come and go as the disease progresses. In the later stages of Alzheimer’s, people will need round-the-clock care and assistance with walking, eating and toileting. Their bodies will begin to shut down and they may require a feeding tube to help them eat.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but medications can slow down the decline in memory and thinking skills, as well as manage some of the other symptoms such as agitation and depression. Non-drug therapies can also be beneficial, such as staying physically active, avoiding stress, and talking to a counsellor or psychologist.

If you or someone you know has several of the 10 warning signs, it is important to see a doctor. Getting a diagnosis early can help you plan for the future and decide on what kind of care is needed. It can also give you an opportunity to participate in clinical trials and take steps to reduce your risk of developing the disease.

Treatment for alzheimer’s disease

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but medicines can ease symptoms and improve quality of life. Some medications help people with Alzheimer’s live independently longer, and others can treat the problems caused by the disease, such as irritability, depression, sleep problems, or aggression. Non-drug treatments such as exercise, social activities, and proper nutrition can also help. There are also programs that help with daily tasks and provide care for people who need it.

Alzheimer’s disease starts when certain parts of the brain begin to die, causing memory and thinking problems. The signs of Alzheimer’s disease can range from mild to severe and get worse over time. They may include forgetting recent events, getting lost in familiar places, or being unable to perform everyday tasks like driving or paying bills. Eventually, the disease can cause problems with speech and swallowing.

People who have Alzheimer’s are at risk for complications, such as dehydration or malnutrition. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s can become more serious if left untreated. There is no treatment that reverses the loss of brain cells, but medication can reduce the symptoms and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s for several years.

Researchers are exploring several drugs that might prevent or slow the onset of Alzheimer’s. These drugs are designed to block the buildup of amyloid plaques or tangles that kill brain cells and lead to dementia. One drug called aducanumab, developed by Biogen and Eisai, is being tested in large clinical trials to see if it can delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Another antibody, donanemab (BAN2401, marketed under the brand name Leqembi), has been approved to treat people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. It is given as a twice-monthly intravenous infusion.

Behavioral changes are a common sign of Alzheimer’s disease and can include aggression, agitation, restlessness, or depression. Antidepressants can treat these problems. Agitation can be treated with sedatives, antianxiety, or antipsychotic medications. Some of these medications have serious side effects, so healthcare providers usually only prescribe them for short periods or after safer non-drug therapies are tried first. Some behavioral changes can be triggered by pain, discomfort, illness, or stress, so treating the underlying problem can help ease symptoms.

How to prevent alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, which is a general term for loss of memory and other thinking skills over time. It affects people differently, but in most cases it becomes worse over time and eventually causes a person to be unable to carry out daily tasks. Early symptoms include forgetting recent events or conversations. As the disease progresses, other symptoms develop, including trouble handling money, getting lost in familiar places, and repeating questions. In the advanced stages, a person may need full-time assistance. Medications can improve or slow the progression of the disease, but there is no cure.

Several factors increase the risk of Alzheimer’s, including age. Having a family history of the disease also increases your risk. However, genes do not equal destiny, and healthy habits can help reduce your risk of developing the disease. These include exercise, a good diet, and not smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke. Getting a diagnosis early can help you plan for the future and get support services.

A person who has Alzheimer’s usually needs full-time care at home, in a nursing home, or in assisted living. In some cases, they can live with family members or friends. The duration of the illness varies from person to person, but it can be as short as three or four years or as long as 20 years.

Scientists are working to discover how to prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. They’re learning that the brain changes that lead to dementia start well before symptoms appear. These changes are due to an accumulation of protein fragments in the brain. The different areas of the brain shrink, starting with the area responsible for memory.

If you’re concerned about memory problems, see your GP. They’ll ask about your health and family history and do some standard medical tests. They may refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist. They’ll ask you about your symptoms and may carry out a range of assessment tools, including cognitive tests and lab tests of spinal fluid. Some specialists offer genetic testing, which can show if you have a gene that may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s.

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