So, in simple words, Alzheimer’s disease is a brain condition that causes a developing or happening gradual decline in memory, thinking, learning, and organizing skills. It eventually affects a person’s ability to remember their basic activities. Well, the Alzheimer disease is the most common cause of dementia. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s worsen over age. The development of the disease process starts slowly over 10 years or more before the first symptoms appear. The disease most commonly affects old age people meanwhile over the age of 65.
Meanwhile, AD is a neurologic disorder that causes the brain to shrink and brain cells to die. A continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills affect a person’s ability to function independently. To be honest, no treatment cures this Alzheimer’s disease or alters the disease process in the brain. In the advanced stages of the disease, complications from severe loss of brain function like dehydration, malnutrition, or infection result in death.
The signs and symptoms
The signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease vary based on the stage of the condition. In general, the symptoms of AD include a gradual decline in some, most, or all of the following symptoms below-
• Thinking and reasoning and handling complex tasks.
• Understanding visual form and space relationship.
• Behavior and personality.
• Repeat the statements and questions over and over again.
• Forget conversations, appointments or events.
• Routinely misplace the objects, often putting them in illogical locations.
• Get lost in familiar places.
• Eventually forget the names of family members and everyday basic things.
• Have trouble finding the right words to identify the objects, express thoughts, or take part in conversations.
• Making judgments and decisions
• Changes in personality and behavior
So, what causes Alzheimer’s disease?
The abnormal build-up of proteins in the brain causes Alzheimer’s disease. The build-up of these proteins called amyloid protein and tau protein causes brain cells to die. Well, the human brain contains more than 100 billion nerve cells and other cells also. The nerve cells work together to work on all the communications required to perform the functions such as thinking, remembering, learning and planning. The doctors believe that amyloid protein builds up in the brain cells, and forms larger masses called plaques. The twisted fibers of another protein called tau form into the tangles. Further, these plaques and tangles block the communications between the nerve cells, which prevents them from carrying out their communications and further process.
The slow death of the nerve cells results in the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, so far. Nerve cell death starts in one area of your brain meanwhile an area of your brain that controls memory and then spreads over to other areas. But scientists still don’t know the exact cause of these proteins building up in the brain. So far, they believe that a genetic mutation may also cause early-onset Alzheimer’s. They also think that late-onset Alzheimer’s happens due to a complex major series of brain changes that may happen over years. A combination of environmental, genetic, and lifestyle factors may also be likely to affect.
So, what is the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease?
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but certain medicines and treatments can temporarily slow the worsening symptoms. Medications can also help with behavioral symptoms. The treatment should start early as anyone recognizes the symptoms of the disease as early as possible for Alzheimer’s could help maintain daily functioning for a while. However, the current medications won’t stop or reverse AD. As AD varies from person to person and affects differently, treatment is highly individualized.
How long can a person live with this Alzheimer’s disease?
Well, the time from diagnosis to death varies from as little as three or four years if the person is older than 80 when diagnosed, to as long as 10 or more years if the person is younger. Alzheimer’s disease is currently ranked as the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, but recent studies might indicate that the disorder may rank 3rd, just behind heart disease and cancer, as a cause of major death for older people.
However, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, as of now, although there has been significant progress in recent years in developing and testing new treatments.
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