Clinical Definition• Alzheimers disease is a progressive and degenerative disease that destroys brain cells. Alzheimers disease is not a normal part of aging, and is also the most common form of dementia.
Who does Alzheimers affect?• Alzheimer’s affects a variety of people, and is very common among the elderly.• This makes it likely that many of you have a relative affected.• The experience of knowing someone with this disease varies, and it can often be emotional when recalling the symptoms. 3
Symptoms• Memory loss that disrupts daily life• Challenges in planning or solving problems• Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure• Confusion with time or place• Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships• New problems with words in speaking or writing• Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps• Decreased or poor judgment• Withdrawal from work or social activities• Changes in mood and personality
Cause of Alzheimer’s• The cause of Alzheimer’s is still unknown, however there are certain risk factors that may influence whether someone gets it or does not.• These risk factors include• Aging- people do not develop Alzheimer’s in their early 20’s or teenage years. It has been established that aging decreases the human bodies self repair mechanism’s.• Genetics- Although you may inherit the genes for Alzheimers, that does not guarantee you will develop it.• Other Factors- Research is being done on other factors such as existing diseases or conditions that the person may have, infections, toxins in the environment, education level, alcohol and tobacco use, diet and exercise
Statistics• An estimated 500,000 Canadians have Alzheimers disease or a related dementia. Over 70,000 of them are under 65 and approximately 50,000 are under the age of 60
Treatment Options• Many medications are available to treat Alzheimers but there is no cure.• For mild to moderate cases of Alzheimers some drugs to be taken are Aricept, Exelon, and Reminyl.• For more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe Ebixon.
Prevention• The best way to lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s is by being proactive, doing things such as..• Exercising regularly• Keeping the brain active in old age• Managing stress and depression• eating a well balanced diet, low in cholesterol and fat. 8
Case Study• A prospective analysis of risk factors for Alzheimerʼs disease was a major objective of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging, a nationwide, population-based study. Of 6,434 eligible subjects aged 65 years or older in 1991, 4,615 were alive in 1996 and participated in the follow-up study. All participants were cognitively normal in 1991 when they completed a risk factor questionnaire. Their cognitive status was reassessed 5 years later by using a similar two-phase procedure, including a screening interview, followed by a clinical examination when indicated. The analysis included 194 Alzheimerʼs disease cases and 3,894 cognitively normal controls. Increasing age, fewer years of education, and the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele were significantly associated with increased risk of Alzheimerʼs disease. Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, wine consumption, coffee consumption, and regular physical activity were associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimerʼs disease. No statistically significant association was found for family history of dementia, sex, history of depression, estrogen replacement therapy, head trauma, antiperspirant or antacid use, smoking, high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke. The protective associations warrant further study. In particular, regular physical activity could be an important component of a preventive strategy against Alzheimerʼs disease and many other conditions.•