Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder named for German physician Alois Alzheimer, who first described it in 1906. Scientists have learned a great deal about Alzheimer’s disease in the century since Dr. Alzheimer first drew attention to it.
Causes of Alzheimer's disease:
The chief factor in the growth of Alzheimer's disease is age of the sufferer. The tendency of the growth of the disease is more once you cross the age of 65 and adds up every five years after 65 years of age. But this condition is not faced by older people alone. Alzheimer's disease is genetic, but peoples even without a family history of Alzheimer's also face this, but it is not as common as the ones with a genetic history.
In case of inherited Alzheimer's the indications start showing earlier like starting from the age of 35 to 60 years of age. The tendency of developing Alzheimer's is higher in case of the people suffering from Down's syndrome. This is due to the presence of an additional copy of the 'chromosome 21', in which a protein which is also present in the brain of the people suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
It is proven that people who have had head injuries or bad whiplashes are more prone to Alzheimer's disease. It is also said that aluminium also causes Alzheimer's disease.
Symptoms of Alzheimers Disease
The earliest symptom of Alzheimer's disease is memory loss. Memory loss by itself is not an indication that a person has Alzheimer's disease. Some memory loss is a natural part of growing old. People with Alzheimer's can lose their sense of time and place - they may, for example, get dressed in the middle of the night or walk off and get lost. In early stages of the disease, family or friends may notice changes in behaviour. As the disease progresses, memory loss gets worse and some people have difficulty in learning new skills. Changes in behaviour may become more obvious, with people saying or doing things that are out of character. Some people become depressed because they realise what is happening to them. During the late stages of the disease, people with Alzheimer's may become totally dependent on others for their care. Walking can become difficult and urinary incontinence may develop.
Treatment of Alzheimers Disease
There is currently no cure and virtually no medical treatment for Alzheimer's disease. However, drugs can help to slow down the progression or relieve some symptoms and delay the need for residential care. A type of drug called cholinesterase inhibitors are used for people with moderate Alzheimer's disease. They work by reducing the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, levels of which are low in Alzheimer's. There are three such drugs available: donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine and galantamine. Another drug, memantine, was launched for people in the late stages of Alzheimer's. Sometimes anti-depressant medicines are prescribed to help treat the depression that can be associated with Alzheimer's disease. Some people may benefit from anti-psychotic medicines.
Login to add comments on this post.