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Overview

Alzheimer'S Disease - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Alzheimer's Diseases ?

Alzheimer's disease is a neurological condition. It is characterized by cognitive decline and memory loss due to the death of brain cells. This disease starts off mild and gets worse as it progressively. Alzheimer's disease is a very common form type of dementia. Alzheimer's disease cannot be cured, but treatment can help reduce the symptoms of alzheimers.

What causes/happens Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer's disease occurs when the brain cells start to die. The size of the brain shrinks to a great extent. The brain tissue has very few connections and nerve cells. A postmortem/autopsy can only show the tiny inclusions inside the nerve tissues. This is called tangles and plaques. Plaques are formed due to the build-up of a substance called beta-amyloid (amyloid plaques). The tangles of the brain neurons are formed due to the disintegration of a protein called tau. According to researchers, alzheimer's disease goes way beyond protein abnormalities. alzheimer's disease makes it difficult to recognize faces and objects. The most prominent sign includes problem-solving, judgment and reasoning. A form of dementia called vascular dementia is caused due to a traumatic incident such as stroke, is the most common type of dementia after alzheimer's disease.

Stages of alzheimer's disease:

  • Preclinical (no symptoms or signs)
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Dementia

Risk factors of developing alzheimer's disease:

  • Age- This disorder usually affects people who are older than 85 years old. Studies also prove that many people in the age group of 65 years suffer from alzheimer's disease more often.
  • Family history- Scientists have proved the fact that alzheimer's disease can be inherited in the genes. If your family member has alzheimer’s, you are more likely to develop it when you become older.
  • A certain gene- A gene called APOE or E gene makes a person more susceptible in developing alzheimer's disease more than a person who doesn’t have this strain of gene.

Avoidable factors that can cause alzheimer's disease:

  • Diseases like high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes can increase your risk of developing alzheimer's disease.
  • Occupational and low educational attainment.
  • Traumatic head injuries.
  • Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can also cause alzheimer's disease.
  • Exposure to environmental toxins, brain plaques, gum diseases and people with rosacea are more prone to developing alzheimer's disease.

Treatment for Alzheimer’s disease:

Alzheimer's disease can be diagnosed by performing tests to check neurological functions and by undergoing brain scans such s EEG, MRI and CAT scan.

Can't be cured, but treatment helps Require medical diagnosis Lab test not required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong Non communicable
Symptoms
Memory loss and confusion. Shrinking vocabulary and decreased word fluency.

Popular Health Tips

Alzheimer's Disease - Know Its Symptoms!

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Psychiatry, Master of Public Health (MPH) Sweden
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Alzheimer's Disease - Know Its Symptoms!

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most severe forms of dementia that is, memory loss which also comes with other disorders such as reduced muscle movement. A patient with the Alzheimer’s disease practically forgets even the most basic day-to-day activities and hence, the disease interrupts the lives of people suffering from it and the ones who are related to them. A commonly observed pattern in the patients suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease is that most of them are aged 60 years and beyond. In simple words, it is the death of the brain cells, that is, the nerve cells which causes the memory loss at first and then the cognitive decline of other bodily functions.

Symptoms:

A patient of the Alzheimer’s disease might show one or more of the following mentioned symptoms. Read the symptoms carefully and help identify the symptoms if you see them in anyone in your surroundings. Most people mistake this symptom to be something else which causes a delay in the diagnosis. But if the disorder is diagnosed at an early stage it might help people survive, or at least have a little longer until their memory stays intact. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to know about the symptoms that are given below:

  • The inability to remembering the information
  • Repeating questions or actions
  • Unable to find the way on a rather regularly visited road
  • The decrease in decision-making ability
  • Poor judgment
  • Unable to solve complex puzzles or do tough activities
  • Unable to recognize familiar people such as colleagues and relatives
  • Unable to dress up properly
  • Inability in speaking mother tongue or word formation
  • Uncontrollable mood swings
  • Rude and un-empathetic social behavior such as being outspoken
  • They will be unable to maintain their own finances unlike before.
  • Stages of Alzheimer’s disease

It is not unknown a fact when someone says that detecting a disease at an early stage is beneficial than at a later stage. The reason being that if a disease is detected earlier, there are more chances of treating it successfully, or in case of the Alzheimer’s disease there are more chances of a medication to work on slowing down the adverse effects of the disease since there is no permanent cure available for it. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that one is aware of the early onset of the disease and also, the symptoms to make a quick diagnosis. The disease affects people between the age of 30 and 60, generally, the symptoms begin at the very early age of 30 but they do not become persistent before reaching a later-on stage. The three stages are:

  1. Preclinical when the individual hasn’t recorded any symptoms
  2. The beginning with mild symptoms
  3. Complete dementia

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3412 people found this helpful

Alzheimer's Disease - Can Surgery Help You Treat It?

MBBS, MD - Radiology, DNB (Radiology), DM (Diagnostic & Interventional Neuroradiology), CCST (UK)
Neurosurgeon, Kolkata
Alzheimer's Disease - Can Surgery Help You Treat It?

In recent times, the advancement of medical science has substantially contributed in comprehending the Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, the number of individuals suffering from the disease is expected to rise in the next ten years which pose a threat to the allocation of health care resources and public health. Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be a complex disease which influences a person’s behavior as well as cognition through numerous mechanisms.

Can surgery be deemed as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease?
The surgery is a multicenter clinical trial which is making a new direction in clinical research. It is devised to halt or slow down the problems caused by the disease which gradually erases a lifetime of memories in elderly patients. Though there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, it has been found that low-voltage electric charges delivered right at the brain. Only the symptomatic therapies for Alzheimer’s disease are provided which do not have any effect on the evolution of the disease. The standard medical treatments for Alzheimer’s disease include cholinesterase inhibitors along with a partial N-methyl D-aspartate antagonist. In most cases of mild to moderate symptoms of this disease, a combination of treatments is used according to the clinical history, age and condition of the patient.

Mental activity supporting cognition
Many patients having normal cognition or mild impairment have a fear that they may develop AD. Many experts are of the opinion that mentally challenging activities including brain teasers and crossword puzzles can be helpful in reducing the risks in such patients. Clinical trials are under the way for determining whether or not these types of activities have any substantial effect on halting the progression of AD.

Treating AD in its moderate to the severe stage
Numerous studies have shown that blockade of NMDA receptors by memantine can be used safely in combination with ChEls. This combination has been shown to delay the institutionalization in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Treating secondary symptoms
A variety of behavioral as well as pharmacologic interventions can help in overcoming the clinical manifestations of the disease. These include anxiety, psychotic behavior, depression and agitation among others. The effectiveness of this disease can range from modest to excellent. No particular agent or dose of it can be unanimously accepted to be the sole treatment option for the wide range of clinical issues. Moreover, in the recent time, the FDA has not accepted any psychotropic agent for treating AD.

Along with these treatment options, there are behavioral interventions that can range from patient-centred approaches to caregiver training for helping manage the cognitive and behavioral manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease. Last but not the least, it is very crucial to point out the significance of treatment in the early stages of AD in order to cure it better. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2944 people found this helpful

All About Alzheimer's Disease!

MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Gurgaon
All About Alzheimer's Disease!

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological, irreversible, progressive brain disorder. It is a chronic neurodegenerative dementia that causes the death of brain cells, causing memory loss and cognitive decline. It affects a person’s thinking and behavior. The symptoms develop slowly and get worse as time passes.

Causes:
As it is a kind of dementia, Alzheimer’s is caused by the death of brain cells. Over a course of time, brain cells die progressively and at the end, the tissue is left with fewer nerve cells and connections. As a result, the total brain size shrinks. Tiny inclusions called plaques and tangles can be seen in the postmortem. These cannot be seen or tested in a living Alzheimer’s affected brain. These plaques are given the name “amyloid plaques” because they are found among the dying cells of the brain when a protein called beta-amyloid builds. The tangles stay in the neurons; they are formed from a protein called tau.

There are several reasons behind all this, some of which are listed below-

  1. Anti-anxiety medications
  2. Hitting on the head too many times
  3. Regularly sleep-deprived
  4. Loneliness
  5. Diabetes in the brain
  6. Old age
  7. Genetic line
  8. Down’s syndrome
  9. Cardiovascular diseases

Symptoms:
Alzheimer’s disease damages the brain, so the clinical signs and symptoms begin to show very early. The symptoms are-

  1. Memory loss
  2. Agitation and mood swings
  3. Poor judgment
  4. The trouble with money calculations
  5. Difficulty doing familiar tasks
  6. Trouble in planning or solving a problem
  7. Confusion with time and place
  8. Difficulty in communicating
  9. Loss of motivation
  10. Inappropriate behavior
  11. Aggressive personality
  12. Childlike behavior

Preventing Alzheimer’s disease:
Alzheimer’s disease ultimately results in death. Even if there are treatments, they cannot fully cure it. So it’s better to try to prevent it before it happens. Ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease are-

  1. Eating more fruits and vegetables.
  2. Eating berries every day.
  3. Increasing omega-3 fatty acids.
  4. Taking folic acid supplements.
  5. Drinking grape juice or red wine with evening meal.
  6. Doing the Mediterranean style diet.
  7. Controlling the blood pressure.
  8. Having strong social support.

Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease:

  1. Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is a long time process.
  2. First of all, doctors perform a physical exam to check the overall neurological health. By this, they check muscle strength, reflexes, walking ability, sense of sight and hearing, coordination and balance.
  3. Then comes the blood test to find the cause of confusion and memory loss by checking the thyroid disorder and vitamin deficiency.
  4. Then they perform the neuropsychological test and check the mental status.
  5. Then there are other tests, like MRI, CT, and PET.
  6. After all this, drugs are given and a safe and supportive environment is created with proper exercise and nutrition.

Alzheimer’s disease is undoubtedly the worst kind of disease. Hence, it is highly recommended to contact a doctor as soon as any symptom is noticed.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2956 people found this helpful

Alzheimer's - How The Disease Progresses?

MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Ahmedabad
Alzheimer's - How The Disease Progresses?

Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes a degradation and eventually death of the brain cells. People with Alzheimer's disease suffer from a memory loss. There is also a progressive decline in the cognitive capacity of the brain.Today, Alzheimer's disease and dementia have become almost synonymous with old age. It is a heartbreaking experience to see aged people with Alzheimer's disease. They have little or no memory of the present time, of their loved people or the things around them.

The Alzheimer's disease starts off as a mild condition and then gradually progresses through stages. In this article, we will discuss the different stages associated with Alzheimer's disease.

  1. The first stage: This stage shows no significant changes in the affected person. Thus, without any diagnostic tests (such as a PET scan), it will be difficult to detect the condition in the initial stage.
  2. The second stage: This stage brings about some changes in the person. The person might misplace things or may even forget words (something that is often brushed aside as a small problem). However, this seldom interferes with their daily activities. Like the first stage, this stage, in most cases, goes unnoticed.
  3. The third stage: This is the stage that brings about visible changes in the person concerned such as
    • The person experiences difficulties in trying to organize things.
    • They forget things they have read, or heard just a few seconds back.
    • In some cases, the person may not be able to recollect a person's name they have just met.
    • Some people may end up repeating the same question over and over again.
  4. The fourth stage: This stage marks a further decline in the mental health. The person gets forgetful about himself or herself. They also start mixing up with the dates and months or makes major goof up while cooking (misses out on ingredients).
  5. The fifth stage: The mental deterioration reaches a step further. The person slowly starts forgetting about the present, such as their address, the time of the day, their profession and even phone numbers.
  6. The sixth stage: The problem is getting worse. Hallucination is slowly setting in. The person is starting to forget people and their faces, mixing one identity with another.
  7. The seventh stage: The final and unfortunately, the worst stage. The person stops talking to people, eating, or even walking. They stay confined to their world, oblivious of their immediate surrounding.

Dealing with an Alzheimer patient

  • In addition to the treatment and medication, a person with Alzheimer's disease needs the love, care, and support of their close and dear ones. Isolating them will only worsen the situation.
  • It may not be easy to deal with an Alzheimer's patient as the disease progresses, but do not be rude to them. Give them the confidence.
  • Always keep a paper containing their name, address and emergency contact number in their wallet.
  • People after the age of 50 should undergo regular health check ups.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

1941 people found this helpful

Alzheimer's - An Overview!

MBBS, MD - Psychiatry, MBA (Healthcare)
Psychiatrist, Davanagere
Alzheimer's - An Overview!

With age, most body organs begin to deteriorate in their function. This happens to the brain also, thereby reducing the overall speed of functioning of most organs. While slowing of bodily movement is visible, the internal organs functioning also slows down, which is not that obvious. Memory loss or dementia is one of the main manifestations of this degeneration of the brain.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, and the associated symptoms includes reduced reasoning abilities and cognitive defects. Though it is seen only in the elderly, not all elderly people will have Alzheimer’s. The overall quality of life of the affected person is reduced with difficulty remembering things that were recently learned. It is a progressive disease and as it gets more severe, a full-time caretaker may be required.

Causes: The brain cells are affected by protein masses known as plaques and tangles. These hamper the way communication between the brain cells happens as well as affect nutrition from reaching all parts of the brain. This leads to shrinking of the brain, eventually leading to memory loss and other problems. There is also a strong genetic linkage, as most people with Alzheimer’s have the lipoprotein A gene.

Symptoms: Though memory loss is the most common symptom, there are other symptoms:

  1. Being confused about places, people, and times
  2. Inability to find the right words during conversations
  3. Regular objects are misplaced
  4. Becoming irritable, (in someone who was not so previously)
  5. Mood swings
  6. Personality changes
  7. Inability to organise thoughts
  8. Not able to make the right decisions
  9. Repetitive talks and actions
  10. Forgetfulness (not something the person always does)
  11. Difficulty with numbers (again, not something calculations
  12. Difficulty managing everyday tasks and minor problems
  13. Suspicion of others (like immediate family members and friends)

Risk factors: While age is definitely a risk factor, the fact that not all aged people develop Alzheimer’s is to be borne in mind. Other risk factors include the history of stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and poor lifestyle choices.

Diagnosis: While there is no definitive way to diagnose Alzheimer’s, symptoms along with brain scans and neuropsychological function testing are useful ways to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment: This is aimed at two things reducing the rate of disease progression and treat (or reverse) symptoms if possible.

Cholinesterase inhibitors improve cellular communication in the brain and also manage depression and agitation. Memantine is used to slow the pace of disease progression.
In people with the disease, small changes are useful to help them with the symptoms. These include keeping essential things like keys and wallet in the same place, keep a daily diary to help them remember things, keep pictures of friends and family within visible distance. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.

2827 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi, My father has alzheimer's for the last 5 yrs. And it is getting worse with time. He hardly sleeps at night, nor does he let others at home sleep. It has become a huge problem for us to handle him and has started to affect my work due to sleep depravity. Are there any generic medicines that we can give him so he sleeps more? Also any other vital input regarding handling people with Alzheimer's would be greatly appreciated.

M.D.PSYCHIATRY, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.), Medicine
Psychiatrist, Jaipur
HI lybrate-user. Unfortunately Alzohmers is progressive diesase. Your father has behavioural and psychological symptoms of diesase. He could be started on low dose mediciness to calm him down. Some therapies like music, art, dance, aroma etc also proven to be somewhat effective. You can try it.
2 people found this helpful

My grandmother taking lonazep 0.25 gm since 5 days having alzeimer and panic attacks frequently. In first 2 days it was effective but now its not showing any effect on her. Reason?

MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Chennai
Lonazep is not the right drug for alzheimer's, consult a psychiatrist ad get proper one for the same, as lonazep is a benzodiazepine and can cause falls and worsening of cognition in alzheimer's.All the best.
1 person found this helpful

My mom is 85 years old. From the last year, she forget present bt recall her past again and again. She repeatedly speaks same lines her foc says this d alzimer disease shat measure we can take to cure her.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user. I can understand. Please don't be panic. We are here to help you in every aspect of your mental and physical health. Any sexual or psychological problems can be cured with the help of various methods and therapies. I suggest you to post your query with every detail here. We will help you in overcoming your problems certainly. Take care.
2 people found this helpful

My mother has been suffering from Dementia and alzheimer's disease. She has been prescribed Donamem and Sizodon MD 0.5 mg.twice a day. Now she is not able to speak although her hyper active nature has been under control after giving Sizodon. Please suggest what is the remedy so that she can speak again. Her age is 81 years.

MBBS, DPM
Psychiatrist, Bangalore
Dear Ashok, It is difficult to live with dementia. For you it is difficult to see her without talking or overtalking. At the age of 81 years most of her systems work less efficiently. You have to learn to use trial and error method to adjust drugs's dose. For the time being, please continue Donamem. Try and stop Sizodon. Manage her with trika. If she is hyper, give her again Sizodon 0.5 mg once a day, probably at night when you don't want her to be hyper. Please check any other medical condition is causing these hyperactive or not speaking state. It might be dehydration or electrolyte imbalance or hypoglycemia or fever. Once the medical condition is treated, she may not need Sizodon.
4 people found this helpful

My father is alzaimer patient from past 4 years and he has become too weak but he used to have proper 3 times meal. Is it safe to give him nutrix whey protein as while moving he feels very weak but while sitting he is comfortable?

BHMS
Homeopath, Hooghly
Do regular exercise,,do some yoga,,take high protein,,with this u need proper homoeopathic treatment to cure ur problem
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is Alzheimer's Diseases ?

What causes/happens Alzheimer’s disease?

Treatment for Alzheimer’s disease:

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