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Alzheimer's

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by

Camila Albo

on 18 February 2013

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Transcript of Alzheimer's

Populations Affected & Prevalence Causes Scientists are still trying to fully understand the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer's Disease Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia. It is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain's neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes. Symptoms Brain Areas Affected Memory failure begins when Alzheimer's disease first destroys neurons in the hippocampus. Diagnosis There is no single test that can show whether a person has Alzheimer's. They believe that it results from a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors that affect the brain over time. Genetics Studies have linked the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene to late-onset Alzheimer’s. Lifestyle Research suggests that other factors may lead to the development of Alzheimer's, such as: Heart disease
Stroke
High blood pressure
Diabetes
Obesity "Late-onset Alzheimer's" is diagnosed at age 65 or older. "Early-onset Alzheimer's" develops in a person younger than age 65. Women are more likely than men to get Alzheimer's Individuals who have first-degree relatives with Alzheimer’s are more at risk of getting the disease. African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to get Alzheimer's. In the United States, more than 5 million people have Alzheimer’s disease Early Stage Middle Stage Late Stage Short-term memory loss
Difficulty completing everyday tasks
Losing or misplacing things in odd places
Trouble handling money and paying bills
Poor judgement
Mood and personality changes Increased memory loss and confusion
Hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia
Problems recognizing family and friends
Inability to learn new things
Difficulty completing everyday tasks
Problems coping with new situations
Impulsive behavior Inability to recognize friends and family or communicate
Difficulty swallowing
Increased sleeping
Weight loss
Seizures
Skin infections
Lack of control of bowel and bladder It belongs to the limbic system and is involved in memory forming and organizing (both short term and long term). Located inside the medial temporal lobe, beneath the cortical surface. In the Alzheimer's brain:

The cortex shrivels up, damaging areas involved in thinking, planning and remembering.
Ventricles filled with fluids grow larger
Damage to the temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes, which are responsible for short- and long-term memory. In Alzheimer's, abnormal amounts of proteins also form plaques and tangles

Plaques: deposits of the protein beta-amyloid that build up in the spaces between neurons.

Tangles: twisted fibers of the protein tau that build up inside cells. To diagnose Alzheimer’s, doctors may use: Physical exams: determine overall health, past medical problems, and ability to carry out daily activities
Mental status testing: assesses memory, problem solving, and thinking skills
Neuropsychological testing: more extensive assessment
Lab tests, such as blood and urine tests, to identify other possible causes of dementia
Brain scans: computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Treatment Current Alzheimer's medications can help for a time with memory symptoms, such as: Cholinesterase inhibitors: Supports communication among neurons by keeping high levels of acetylcholine, which is important for learning and memory.
Memantine (Namenda): Regulates the activity of glutamate, a different messenger chemical involved in learning and memory. It slows the progression of symptoms with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. Medication to treat agitation: Antipsychotics, Antidepressants, and Anti-anxiety medications Prognosis & Severity There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease.
The average life expectancy for someone with Alzheimer's is 8 to 10 years after the onset of symptoms.
Individuals with Alzheimer's have been known to live up to 20 years after the first signs emerge.
How long a person with Alzheimer's will live is dependent on the person's age as well as the severity of the medical problems the person is experiencing (whether they are in the early, middle or late stages of Alzheimer's). These mutations account for less than 5 percent of Alzheimer's disease.
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