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Overview

Alzheimer'S Disease - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

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 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.

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

All About Alzheimer's Disease!

Dr. Namit Gupta 83% (10 ratings)
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- Anti-anxiety medications Hitting on the head too many times Regularly sleep-deprived Loneliness Diabetes in the brain Old age Genetic line Down s syndrome Cardiovascular diseases Symptoms: Alzheimer s disease damages the brain, so the clinical signs and symptoms begin to show very early. The symptoms are- Memory loss Agitation and mood swings Poor judgment The trouble with money calculations Difficulty doing familiar tasks Trouble in planning or solving a problem Confusion with time and place Difficulty in communicating Loss of motivation Inappropriate behavior Aggressive personality 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- Eating more fruits and vegetables. Eating berries every day. Increasing omega-3 fatty acids. Taking folic acid supplements. Drinking grape juice or red wine with evening meal. Doing the Mediterranean style diet. Controlling the blood pressure. Having strong social support. Treatment of Alzheimer s disease: Treatment of Alzheimer s disease is a long time process. 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. Then comes the blood test to find the cause of confusion and memory loss by checking the thyroid disorder and vitamin deficiency. Then they perform the neuropsychological test and check the mental status. Then there are other tests, like MRI, CT, and PET. 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.
1 person found this helpful

Alzheimer's - How The Disease Progresses?

Dr. Devshi Visana 87% (10 ratings)
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. 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. 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. 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. 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). 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. 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. 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.
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Dementia - 7 Early Symptoms Of It!

Dr. Srikant Sharma 85% (24 ratings)
MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Delhi
Dementia - 7 Early Symptoms Of It!
7 early symptoms of Dementia Dementia is a disorder characterized by a decline in mental capabilities in a person. It is primarily caused by Alzheimer's disease but can also be caused by damage to the brain from an injury or a stroke. The cells of the brain fail to communicate with each other in dementia. People suffering from dementia have difficulties in taking part in regular activities as their mental functioning is impaired. The major symptoms of dementia are problems in recalling, ineffective communication, inability to concentrate and impaired reasoning abilities. It may also affect the short-term memory of a person when he/she may be unable to keep track of his/her belongings. Dementia can be progressive where the symptoms gradually increase with age. Some early symptoms of dementia are- 1. Mood changes Excessive mood swings along with changes in personality are very common symptoms of dementia. For instance- a reserved person suddenly becoming very outgoing is a commonly observed change in cases of dementia. 2. Problems in completing routine tasks If a person suddenly starts to face problems in doing routine work such as maintaining simple accounts and paying bills then it can early signs of dementia. 3. Confusion When a person starts to get confused in remembering small details and recognizing faces, it could point towards dementia. 4. Repetition Dementia causes people to repeat words they have just said as the short term memory gets impaired. It also causes people to repeat small tasks a multiple number of times. 5. Losing interest A person may start to lose interest in regular activities and avoid them altogether. They may appear devoid of emotions and not engage socially. 6. Communication People fail to communicate effectively as they may be unable to express their thoughts clearly. They may also fail to understand when others communicate with them. 7. Impaired sense of direction A person may fail to recognize places and wander around. He/she will face problems in going to places or in remembering places.
3483 people found this helpful

Top 10 Foods To Prevent Dementia and Alzheimer s

Dt. Neha Suryawanshi 94% (9106 ratings)
M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management , Post Graduate Diploma In Computer Application, P.G.Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics , B.Sc.Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai
Top 10 Foods To Prevent Dementia and Alzheimer s
Here are 10 foods you should add into your diet that can help improve your mind: 1. Leafy greens. Some ideas: kale, spinach, collard and mustard greens. These foods are high in folate and b9, which improve cognition and reduce depression. 2. Cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, brussels sprouts and kale contain folate and have cartenoids that lower homo-cysteine (an amino acid linked with cognitive impairment). 3. Beans and legumes. These foods contain more folate, iron, magensium and potassium that can help with general body function and neuron firing. They also contain choline, a b vitamin that boosts acetylcholine (a neuro transmitter critical for brain function). 4. Whole grains. Good bets include quinoa, kammut and gluten-free oats (not bread and cereal) 5. Berries and cherries. These fruits contain anthocyanin that protects the brain from further damage caused by free radicals. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and contain antioxidants and lots of vitamin c and e. 6. Pumpkin, squash, asparagus, tomatoes, carrots and beets. These vegetables, if not overcooked, contain vitamin a, folate and iron that help with cognition. 7. Omega 3s. People whose diets contain daily omega 3s have been shown to have 26% less risk of having brain lesions that cause dementia compared with those who do not. These fatty acids help the brain to stay in top shape. You can get your omega fatty acids from fish, flax seeds, olive oil (not safflower) or by taking a good quality omega 3 supplement. 8. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts and pecans. All of these nuts contain omega-3s and omega-6s, vitamin e, folate, vitamin b6 and magnesium. 9. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. These seeds contain zinc, choline and vitamin e. 10. Cinnamon, sage, tumeric and cumin. Theses spices can all help to break up brain plaque and reduce inflammation of the brain which can cause memory issues. In addition to eating the foods listed above, you ll want to decrease the risk of illnesses that can make your brain age such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.
3 people found this helpful

10 Bad Habits That Are Killing You Slowly!

Dr. Dinesh Chandra Pant 88% (292 ratings)
DOMS, MBBS
General Physician, Gurgaon
10 Bad Habits That Are Killing You Slowly!
Most of the time people are not even aware of the bad habits which can harm their health in several ways. However, we do them persistently without realizing that these habits are actually harming our health and can lead to problems like heart diseases, sleep or eating disorders, stress, etc. Here are 10 of those bad habits. Smoking cigarettes and nicotine addiction: Everybody knows that cigarettes cause cancer, especially when smoked excessively. Very few people know that nicotine also can lead to shrinking of brain and diseases like Alzheimer's. Therefore, one must quit this bad habit right away. Skipping the most important meal of the day: These days, all of us lead a busy lifestyle which involves skipping breakfast or lunch on a daily basis. Incidentally, many people are not aware of the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and one should not skip it at any cost. Eating without being hungry and overeating: Just as you should not skip the important meals in a day, overeating is bad as well. There are many of us who love food and are habituated with eating while watching or reading something. Very soon, this habit of overeating can make them obese or popularly known as couch potato. Extremely bad food habits: Quite often, we prefer to include only those kinds of food items which we love. On the contrary, one should follow a healthy and balanced diet including carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamin, minerals and water, as per individual body demands. Skipping exercise and leading an inactive life: Having a balanced diet is not enough, if you want a healthy body and mind. There is no alternative to physical fitness and exercises. Being physically inactive can lead to heart diseases, cholesterol problems, arthritis, obesity, etc. Sleeping disorders: A person must have seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep to maintain the proper sleep cycle. The sleeping disorder can cause severe health problems. Watching television or using mobile before going to bed: To get a relaxed sleep, you need to quit the habit of watching any video, television series, movies, playing with mobile phones. Our minds tend to reminiscent of those videos, and that can disrupt our sleep. Instead, you can read a bit. Excessive consumption of alcohol: An inordinate amount of alcohol in our body might make us excited, and that is not good when you are going to drive or sleep. Always keep a check on your alcohol consumption. Stress and fatigue: Taking stress can cause us fatigue, sleeping and eating disorders, etc. Therefore, you need to learn how to manage stress o maintain a balance between your private and work life. Not relaxing or enjoying your leisure: Since we live in a stressful environment, we need to value recreation. Overworking can cause severe stress and psychological problems. Avoid that by doing whatever you like, such as, reading, traveling, etc. Get rid of these bad habits which can cause harm to your health and start enjoying a healthy and happy life. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
7891 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

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.

Dr. Saranya Devanathan 91% (1409 ratings)
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.
2 people found this helpful

I AM NOW 51 do I have a risk of developing Alzheimer's or memory loss. Please guide.

Dr. Payal Sharma Kamath 90% (39 ratings)
MD - Psychiatry
Psychiatrist, Mumbai
Alzheimer's disease is a neurological disorder in which the death of brain cells causes memory loss and cognitive decline Alzheimer's is caused by brain cell death. 3 It is a neurodegenerative disease, which means there is progressive brain cell death that happens over a course of time. Risk factors for developing the condition include aging, a family history of Alzheimer's, and carrying certain genes. Symptoms are - Repetitive questions or conversations Misplacing personal belongings Forgetting events or appointments Getting lost on a familiar route. "Poor understanding of safety risks Inability to manage finances Poor decision-making ability inability to plan complex or sequential activities Inability to operate simple implements, or orient clothing to the body. "Out-of-character mood changes, including agitation; less interest, motivation or initiative; apathy; social withdrawal There is no known cure for Alzheimer's disease - the death of brain cells in the dementia cannot be halted or reversed. There is, however, much backing for therapeutic interventions to help people live with Alzheimer's disease more ably. Some options may reduce its symptoms and help improve quality of life. So if you are having any of these above symptoms do consult a neuropsychiatrist. Have a great day.
1 person found this helpful

I have problem of forgetting common things and normal word and writing problem due to siezer. Can you pls tell me is there any possibilities of leads me to full Alzheimer disease.

Dr. Amiya Kumar Chattopadhyay 89% (2169 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Cardiology, DTM&H(Diploma Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, PGD PPHC(Post graduate diploma in Preventive and promotive health care
General Physician, Kolkata
Hi Nusrat, Lybrate user. U r too young to think about this disease. I have seen many patients with seizure disorder but not find develop Alzheimer disease later on. So don't worry be happy. Rather one of my close friend, a renound Doctor and his wife both seizure disorder aged over 65yrs are absolutely OK.
1 person found this helpful

Gd evng sir& madam. Dis is akbar I have a query about my grandfather as he is suffering from alzheimer's disease&Dementia. As he is also a diabetic&bp patient. He is suffering from dementia since 4 years. He is unable neither urinate nor have food himself. At present my grand mother is suffering a lot because of him. I would like to know the best treatment according to his present situation.

Dr. Rahul Poddar 92% (612 ratings)
MBBS, DNB (General Surgery), MNAMS (Membership of the National Academy) (General Surgery) , Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, Fellow of Indian association og gastro intestinal endo surgeons
General Surgeon, Ghaziabad
Diet has very important role. Just try this diet and see the difference in fee months time. Breakfast= fruits only. Abundant amount. Lunch/dinner= salad, sprouts, green vegetables, daal, only 1 roti in one meal. Stop having: milk, milk products, refined foods, packaged food of any kind like bread namkeen buiscuits maida etc.
1 person found this helpful

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