What is Alzheimer’s Disease?


Each person with Alzheimer’s disease experiences different symptoms. In the later stages, they may not be able to speak or move and need extensive care. There is no cure, but medicines may improve their quality of life.

Several factors increase the risk of getting Alzheimer’s. These include age (most people who get it are over 65), family history, and genetics.

That cause alzheimer

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that affects memory, thinking and other important abilities. It’s caused by the build-up of two substances inside the brain called plaques and tangles. These clump together and kill brain cells. Over time, this damage causes areas of the brain to shrink. Alzheimer’s symptoms usually get worse over time and become severe enough to interfere with daily life. People with Alzheimer’s may need help with paying bills, preparing food and bathing. They might also forget where they are or who they are and have trouble finding words. They may forget how to perform simple tasks like tying their shoes or turning off the stove. They might have difficulty concentrating and thinking, especially about abstract concepts such as numbers. They might have difficulty following a story or remembering past events, such as where they went on vacation or how to finish a sentence.

Scientists don’t know exactly what causes Alzheimer’s, but they do know several factors that increase your risk for it. The biggest is age. Your chance of getting Alzheimer’s doubles every five years after you turn 65. Your chances are also higher if a close relative had the disease. This is because you share genes with that person. Scientists have found a few genetic mutations that virtually guarantee you will develop Alzheimer’s, but these cause only about 1% of all cases.

Other risk factors include having a history of depression, having cardiovascular disease or diabetes and being exposed to certain environmental contaminants. A healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk of developing the disease. It includes getting exercise, eating a diet of fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods that are high in saturated fats. It’s also important to socialize and stay mentally engaged throughout your life.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are medications that can slow the progression of the disease and relieve some symptoms. These medicines include donepezil (Alzheimer’s) and memantine (Namenda). Symptoms of the disease can be stressful for both the person who has it and their family and friends. Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s can be a rewarding experience, but it is not without its challenges.

Signs of alzheimer’s disease

Everyone experiences occasional memory lapses, but with Alzheimer’s disease, these problems get worse over time. People with this condition may begin to forget names of family members, friends and familiar objects and start having trouble carrying out daily tasks, such as finding their way home or preparing meals. They may also become more confused, and they might be more prone to infections.

No one knows what causes Alzheimer’s, but scientists believe that certain changes in the brain lead to the disease. These changes include abnormal clumps of protein called plaques and tangled bundles of fibers called tangles. They form in the part of the brain that controls memory and disrupt the communication between nerve cells, causing them to die slowly over time. The death of nerve cells leads to a build-up of waste material and a loss of brain function.

In the beginning, a person with Alzheimer’s might be aware of having memory problems. They might say things like, “I’m not sure how I got here,” or “I think I lost my keys.” However, a person with Alzheimer’s will have difficulty remembering recent events more than they remember old ones. This is because the parts of the brain affected by the disease damage first.

If a person’s symptoms are mild, they might not be noticed by anyone other than themselves. They might have trouble following a conversation or keeping up with it, and they may start repeating themselves. They might be unable to find familiar objects, and they might start placing items in strange places, such as the kitchen sink or on top of the refrigerator. They might also have trouble finding words and struggle to express themselves in a conversation.

A person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease increases with age and with a family history of the disease. Having a first-degree relative with Alzheimer’s increases the risk by 10% to 30%. Other risk factors include severe head trauma, sleep disturbances and low levels of vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin D, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate. Some people are at greater risk because of a gene, called apolipoprotein E (APOE). The APOE e4 variant is associated with an earlier age of onset for the disease. But even if someone has the APOE e4 variant, it doesn’t guarantee they will develop Alzheimer’s.

Treatment for alzheimer’s disease

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but medications can help ease symptoms and improve quality of life. Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder caused by the buildup of two proteins in the brain: amyloid plaques and tau tangles. These clumps disrupt the normal function of neurons in the brain and cause cells to die. The condition affects people ages 65 and older, but it can also occur in younger adults. This type of Alzheimer’s is called early onset.

There are three drugs that can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, and one medication that may improve memory for a short period. These drugs are called cholinesterase inhibitors. They work by stopping the breakdown of a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine. They have been approved by the FDA and are available as pills that can be swallowed or tablets that dissolve in water. These drugs aren’t a cure, but they can delay the onset of symptoms for about half of those who take them.

Other medications can treat behavioral changes, such as depression, aggression and agitation. Antidepressants are commonly prescribed for these issues. Antipsychotics are sometimes used, but they can have serious side effects and should be prescribed only after other safer options have been tried.

Regular exercise, proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Getting enough sleep and avoiding smoking can also help. Keeping in touch with friends and family can provide support and reduce stress, which is linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Practicing healthy coping techniques, such as meditation and yoga, can also help relieve stress.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s can vary, and people can live with the disease for many years before needing extensive care. Early detection and treatment can help families plan ahead and have a better quality of life while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Symptoms include memory loss, trouble finding words, and difficulty thinking or making decisions. It can also be difficult to manage finances and pay bills or keep up with daily tasks, such as cooking and cleaning.

How to prevent alzheimer’s disease

Experts don’t know exactly what causes Alzheimer’s disease or why it strikes some people and not others, but they do know that a few risk factors increase the odds of developing the condition. These include age, family history, and genetics. Scientists also know that a healthy lifestyle and proper care of the body can help reduce a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, especially as they age.

People with Alzheimer’s typically develop the disease in stages, starting with memory problems and progressing to losing control of their daily activities. Eventually, they need around-the-clock care, and their symptoms may become more severe as time passes. Alzheimer’s disease can cause a buildup of proteins in the brain that lead to cell death, and if the disease is not treated it will eventually destroy the brain and cause permanent loss of memory and thinking abilities.

Several medications are available that can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and improve quality of life for some people. Some are available only by prescription, while others are over-the-counter. These medications help slow the buildup of proteins, but do not reverse the damage that has already been done.

Research shows that aerobic exercise, a healthy diet, and controlling blood pressure can all reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s. Aerobic exercise is particularly important, as it helps to protect against the disease by increasing a chemical in the brain called BDNF and promoting the growth of new neurons. A diet that is high in protein, fruits, and vegetables can also help reduce the risk of dementia. Avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol in moderation can also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

There is no definitive test for Alzheimer’s disease, but mental, physical, neurological, and imaging tests can help doctors reach a diagnosis. These tests can also help identify other conditions that may be causing the symptoms, such as a vitamin deficiency or side effects from medication.

Getting regular checkups, particularly during middle age, is also important to detect dementia early and take action to prevent it. If you notice a change in your behavior or memory, speak with your doctor right away to learn more about the condition and get advice on how to treat it.

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