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Alzheimer’s Disease

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that causes the degeneration and death of brain cells. It does occur in stages, with severity increasing as time goes on. In the later stages of the disease, people will experience significant memory loss and be unable to carry out everyday tasks.

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?

The major symptom of this condition is memory loss. Other issues that people experience include problems with thinking and reasoning, making judgments and decisions, planning and completing familiar tasks, and preserved skills. They will experience changes in personality and behavior. 

Other complications can arise from Alzheimer’s, such as aspiration, pneumonia, infections, falls, fractures, bedsores, malnutrition, and dehydration.

What causes Alzheimer’s disease?

Medical professionals believe that this condition is caused over time by a combination of genetics, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors. While they do not know the cause, they know that neurons disconnect from each other and die. Researchers are currently focusing on the role of two proteins: plaques and tangles. 

There are risk factors that may heighten the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Age is a major factor, as people usually develop this condition after 65. If one has a relative that is affected, they are also at a higher risk. Females are also affected at a higher rate than males. Those with past head trauma, poor sleeping patterns, poor exercise patterns, and other unhealthy lifestyle habits have a higher chance of Alzheimer’s disease.

How is Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed?

Doctors will typically diagnose Alzheimer’s disease after a finding of characteristic symptoms. Tests will be used to confirm a diagnosis, such as a physical and neurological exam and brain imaging, such as MRIs and CT scans.

What are the treatments for Alzheimer’s disease?

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but medications may temporarily help memory and cognitive issues. Cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine are the two major medications used in treatment. 

Where can I find out more about Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer's Disease Articles