- Alzheimers disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brains nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes.
These neurons, which produce the brain chemical, orneurotransmitter, acetylcholine, break connections withother nerve cells and ultimately die. For example, short-term memory fails when Alzheimers disease first destroysnerve cells in the hippocampus, and language skills andjudgment decline when neurons die in the cerebral cortex.
Are older. However, developing AD is not a part of normal aging. Have a close blood relative, such as a brother, sister, or parent with AD. Have certain genes linked to AD, such as APOE epsilon4 alleleThe following may also increase your risk, although this is not wellproven: Being female Having high blood pressure for a long time History of head traumaThere are two types of AD: Early onset AD: Symptoms appear before age 60. This type is much less common than late onset. However, it tends to get worse quickly. Early onset disease can run in families. Several genes have been identified. Late onset AD: This is the most common type. It occurs in people age 60 and older. It may run in some families, but the role of genes is less clear. The cause of AD is not clear. Your genes and environmental factors seem to play a role. Aluminum, lead, and mercury in the brain is no longer believed to be a cause of AD.
Two types of abnormal lesionsclog the brains of individualswith Alzheimers disease:Beta-amyloid plaques—stickyclumps of protein fragments andcellular material that formoutside and around neurons;and neurofibrillary tangles—insoluble twisted fiberscomposed largely of the proteintau that build up inside nervecells.(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)Although these structures arehallmarks of the disease,scientists are unclear whetherthey cause it or a byproduct ofit.
Dementia symptoms include difficulty with manyareas of mental function, including:• Emotional behavior or personality• Language• Memory• Perception• Thinking and judgment (cognitive skills)• Dementia usually first appears as forgetfulness.• Mild cognitive impairment is the stage between normal forgetfulness due to aging, and the development of AD. People with MCI have mild problems with thinking and memory that do not interfere with everyday activities. They are often aware of the forgetfulness. Not everyone with MCI develops AD.• Difficulty performing more than one task at a time• Difficulty solving problems• Forgetting recent events or conversations• Taking longer to perform more difficult activities
Facts About Alzheimers DiseaseEvery 70 seconds, someone is diagnosed withAlzheimers disease.The current estimate of 5.1 million Americansaffected by Alzheimers is expected to surge tonearly 14 million by 2050.By slowing the progression of Alzheimers diseaseby just five years, we can reduce the number ofcases by up to 50 percent. And if the onset ofAlzheimers can be delayed by 10 years, scientiststell us that the disease would essentially beeradicated
Currently there is no cure for AD.The goals of treatment are:Slow the progression of thedisease (although this is difficultto do)Manage symptoms, such asbehaviorproblems, confusion, and sleepproblemsChange your home environmentso you can better perform dailyactivitiesSupport family members andother caregivers
The good news is that emergingevidence suggests there are stepsyou can take to help keep yourbrain healthier as you age. Thesesteps might also reduce your risk ofAlzheimer’s disease or otherdementias
Physical exercise is essential formaintaining good blood flow tothe brain as well as to encouragenew brain cells. It also cansignificantly reduce the risk ofheart attack, stroke anddiabetes, and thereby protectagainst those risk factors forAlzheimers and other dementias.
Research suggests that high cholesterolmay contribute to stroke and brain celldamage. A low fat, low cholesterol diet isadvisable. And there is growing evidencethat a diet rich in dark vegetables andfruits, which contain antioxidants, mayhelp protect brain cells.
Social activity not only makes physicaland mental activity more enjoyable, itcan reduce stress levels, which helpsmaintain healthy connections amongbrain cells
Mentally stimulating activities strengthenbrain cells and the connections betweenthem, and may even create new nervecells.
Book: Alzheimer’s & other Dementias by Harry Clayton, Dr. Nori Grahmn, and Dr. James Warner.-This book gave me insight on the technical background of the brain disease.Articles: Bashar, M. R., Yan, L., & Peng, W. (2012). Study of EEGs from Somatosensory Cortex and Alzheimers Disease Sources. International Journal Of Biological & Life Sciences, 8(2), 62-66.-This article gave direct content to the plaque build up in your brain Wierenga, C. E., & Bondi, M. W. (2011). Dementia and Alzheimers Disease: What We Know Now. Generations, 35(2), 37-45.-This article gave me information in regards to symptoms and treatment Additional Sources: http://www.namenda.com/About/Symptoms.aspx?WT.srch=1&guid=327223877 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001767/ http://www.alz.org/ http://www.alzfdn.org/AboutAlzheimers/definition.html http://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&hl=en&source=hp&biw=1249&bih=416&q=alzheim er%27s+disease&gbv=2&oq=alzh&aq=1&aqi=g4g- s1g5&aql=&gs_sm=1&gs_upl=1590l2430l0l4442l4l4l0l0l0l0l100l260l3.1l4l0#hl=en&gbv=2&tbm =isch&sa=1&q=alzheimer%27s+&oq=alzheimer%27s+&aq=f&aqi=g3g- s1g6&aql=&gs_sm=3&gs_upl=14510l15250l5l16280l6l6l2l0l0l0l90l300l4l4l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc. r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=d8f77ab192c38c1d&biw=1249&bih=416
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