Alzheimers


Head | Neurology | Alzheimers (Disease)


Description

Alzheimers disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death.

In Alzheimers disease, brain cells degenerate and die, causing a steady decline in memory and mental function. The first symptoms of Alzheimers disease you may notice are increasing forgetfulness and mild confusion. Over time, the disease has a growing impact on your memory, your ability to speak and write coherently, and your judgment and problem solving. Brain changes associated with Alzheimers disease lead to growing trouble with: memory, disorientation and misinterpreting spatial relationships, speaking and writing, thinking and reasoning, making judgments and decisions, planning and performing familiar tasks, changes in personality and behavior. People with Alzheimers may experience: depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, mood swings, distrust in others, irritability and aggressiveness, changes in sleeping habits, wandering.

Causes and Risk factors

The cause for most Alzheimers cases is still essentially unknown. Scientists believe that for most people, Alzheimers disease results from a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time. Risk factors for Alzheimer disease are: genetics, age, sex, lifestyle and heart health.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Alzheimers disease can be definitely diagnosed after death, when the brain can be closely examined for certain microscopic changes caused by the disease, but testing and a process of elimination help to diagnose what refers to as probable Alzheimers disease with almost 90% accuracy.

There are no drug treatments available that can provide a cure for Alzheimers disease. However, medicines have been developed that can improve symptoms, or temporarily slow down their progression, in some people....