|print the page||email the page|
- What is Alzheimer's disease?
- Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease
- Causes of Alzheimer's disease
- Prevention of Alzheimer's disease
- Risk factors for Alzheimer's disease
- Complications of Alzheimer's disease
- When to see a doctor about Alzheimer's disease
- Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease
- Conventional treatment of Alzheimer's disease
- Alternative/complementary treatment of Alzheimer's disease
- Living with Alzheimer's disease
- Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a degenerative disease of the brain, which is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer's disease is a serious brain disorder which seriously affects a person's ability to have a normal life and their ability to carry out their activities each day.
Alzheimer's disease normally starts after after age 65, but the symptoms normally start slowly and can often be disregarded as a normal part of ageing (slowed thinking, confusion and forgetting things) before this age.
Alzheimer's disease is characterised by the increased amounts of abnormal clumps (amyloid plaques) and tangled fibres of proteins (neurofibrillary tangles) - basically abnormal deposits of substances in and around the neurons. Some of these changes normally occur with ageing, but not anywhere near the level that they do in a person with Alzheimer's disease.
Scientists believe that the communication between the neurons (nerve cells) becomes disconnected, especially in the parts of the brain which rule memory and learning. Some of the nerve cells die. In addition to this, levels of some of the neurotransmitters in the brain appear to be low, which may also play a role in this disease.
It is known that Alzheimer's affects brain cells by progressively making them fail to work properly, but scientists do not yet know what causes the brain cells to fail in such a way.
Some facts about Alzheimer's disease
- Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of the ageing process
- Scientists still do not know exactly what causes Alzheimer's disease, but have a few theories which are currently being investigated (including researching specific genes which seem to be associated with Alzheimer's disease)
- Alzheimer's disease will progress over time in the individual, with a deterioration of their condition in the long term
- Since Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, this means it will continue to cause deterioration for anywhere from 5-20 years
- The most common cause of death in people with Alzheimer's disease is serious infection
- Alzheimer's disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German doctor who first diagnosed this disease in a patient in 1906
- Age is the most common risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, with most people diagnosed being over 65
- There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease (as at 2007), but some drugs (and alternative treatments) may help keep symptoms from getting worse for a short time
2: symptoms of Alzheimer's >