What is Alzheimer&39s Disease? Symptoms & Causes | alz.org

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. symptoms eventually become severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Subscribe to e-news to learn how you can help those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Alzheimer’s disease? Causes, symptoms and diagnosis information. Forgotten words, dates and faces surround a woman.Understanding Alzheimer’s and dementia

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for loss of memory and other cognitive abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases.

learn more: what is the difference between dementia and alzheimer’s?, what is dementia, research and advances

Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. The biggest known risk factor is increasing age, and most people with Alzheimer’s are age 65 or older. Alzheimer’s disease is considered younger-onset Alzheimer’s if it affects a person under the age of 65. Younger-onset may also be referred to as early-onset Alzheimer’s. People with younger-onset Alzheimer’s may be in the early, middle, or late stage of the disease.

more information: younger/early-onset Alzheimer’s, risk factors Alzheimer’s gets worse over time. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, in which the dementia symptoms gradually worsen over several years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer’s, people lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their surroundings. On average, a person with Alzheimer’s lives 4 to 8 years after diagnosis, but can live up to 20 years, depending on other factors.

more information: 10 warning signs, stages of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s has no cure, but one treatment, aducanumab (aduhelm™), is the first therapy to show that removing amyloid, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, from the brain It has a reasonable chance of reducing cognitive and functional decline in people living with early Alzheimer’s. Other treatments can temporarily delay the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Today, a global effort is underway to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent its development.

more information: treatments, treatment horizon, prevention, clinical trials

symptoms of Alzheimer’s

The most common early symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is difficulty remembering newly learned information. Like the rest of our bodies, our brains change as we age. most of us eventually notice slow thinking and occasional trouble remembering certain things. however, severe memory loss, confusion, and other major changes in the way our minds work can be a sign that brain cells are failing. Alzheimer’s changes usually start in the part of the brain that affects learning. As Alzheimer’s progresses through the brain, it leads to increasingly severe symptoms, including disorientation, mood and behavior changes; deepening confusion about events, time, and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers; memory loss and more serious behavior changes; and difficulty speaking, swallowing, and walking.

People with memory loss or other possible signs of Alzheimer’s may find it difficult to recognize that they have a problem. signs of dementia may be more apparent to family or friends. Anyone experiencing dementia-like symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible. If you need help finding a doctor experienced in evaluating memory problems, your local Alzheimer’s association can help. Earlier diagnosis and intervention methods are improving dramatically, and treatment options and sources of support can improve quality of life. two helpful support resources you can access are alzconnected, our message boards and online social media community, and the alzheimer navigator, a web tool that creates personalized action plans, based on the answers you provide through short online surveys.

Take our free online education courses: Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia and Knowing the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters

alzheimer’s and the brain

microscopic changes in the brain begin long before the first signs of memory loss appear.

The brain has 100 billion nerve cells (neurons). each nerve cell connects with many others to form communication networks. Groups of nerve cells have special jobs. some are involved in thinking, learning, and remembering. others help us see, hear, and smell.

To do their job, brain cells work like little factories. they receive supplies, generate power, build equipment, and dispose of waste. cells also process and store information and communicate with other cells. keeping everything running requires coordination, as well as large amounts of fuel and oxygen.

Scientists believe that Alzheimer’s disease prevents parts of a cell’s factory from working properly. they are not sure where the problem starts. but just like a real factory, backups and breakdowns in one system cause problems in other areas. As the damage spreads, cells lose their ability to do their jobs and eventually die, causing irreversible changes in the brain.

the role of plates and tangles

Two abnormal structures called plaques and tangles are primarily suspected of damaging and killing nerve cells.

  1. Plaques are deposits of a protein fragment called beta-amyloid (bay-tuh am-uh-loyd) that accumulates in the spaces between nerve cells.
  2. tangles are twisted fibers of another protein called tau (which rhymes with “wow”) that accumulate inside cells.
  3. Three images of brains, one with a few tangles, another with moderate tangles, and another with extensive tangles.Though autopsy studies show that most people develop some plaques and tangles as they age, those with Alzheimer’s tend to develop far more and in a predictable pattern, beginning in the areas important for memory before spreading to other regions.

    Scientists don’t know exactly what role plaques and tangles play in Alzheimer’s disease. most experts believe that they somehow play a critical role in blocking communication between nerve cells and disrupting processes that cells need to survive.

    It is the destruction and death of nerve cells that causes memory lapses, personality changes, problems performing daily activities, and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. more information: take the tour of the brain

    research and progress

    In 1906, the German physician Dr. Alois Alzheimer first described “a peculiar disease,” one of profound memory loss and microscopic changes in the brain, a disease we now know as Alzheimer’s. Today, Alzheimer’s is at the forefront of biomedical research. Researchers are working to discover as many aspects of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias as possible. Some of the most notable advances have shed light on how Alzheimer’s affects the brain. the hope is that this better understanding will lead to new treatments. many potential approaches are currently under investigation around the world. subscribe to our weekly e-news to receive updates on alzheimer’s disease and dementia care and research. more information: research and progress

Content Creator Zaid Butt joined Silsala-e-Azeemia in 2004 as student of spirituality. Mr. Zahid Butt is an IT professional, his expertise include “Web/Graphic Designer, GUI, Visualizer and Web Developer” PH: +92-3217244554

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