Alzheimer's disease: Definition, Symptoms, Cause

Alzheimer's disease

What is Alzheimer's disease?

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive form of dementia. Dementia is a broad term for conditions caused by brain damage or diseases that adversely affect memory, thinking, and behavior. These changes disrupt daily life.

According to the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases of dementia. Most people with this condition get diagnosed after age 65. If detected earlier, it is often referred to as Alzheimer's disease.

There is no cure for Alzheimer's, but there are treatments that can reduce the progression of the disease. Learn more about the basics of Alzheimer's disease.


Alzheimer's facts

Although many people have heard of Alzheimer's disease, some are not sure what it is.

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive chronic condition.
Its symptoms gradually subside and the effects on the brain diminish, meaning it causes a gradual decrease.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's but treatment can help delay the progression of the disease and can improve the quality of life.
Anyone can get Alzheimer's disease but some people are at high risk of getting it. This includes people over the age of 65 and those with a family history of the condition.
Alzheimer's and dementia are not the same things. Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia.
No single effect is expected in people with Alzheimer's. Some people live longer with minimal cognitive impairment, while others experience the onset of symptoms more rapidly and the progression of disease faster.
The journey of each person with Alzheimer's disease is different. Find out more about how Alzheimer's can affect people.


Alzheimer's disease also causes dangerous symptoms

Experts have not yet identified a single cause of Alzheimer's disease but have identified specific risk factors, including:

Age. Most people with Alzheimer's disease are 65 years of age or older.
Family history. If you have a close family member who has developed this condition, you may have found it.
Genetics. Certain genes have been linked to Alzheimer's disease.
Having one or more of these risk factors does not mean you will have Alzheimer's disease. It simply raises your risk level.


Alzheimer's and genetics

Although there is no single cause for Alzheimer's disease, genes can play a major role. One element, in particular, is of interest to researchers. Apolipoprotein E (APOE) is a gene linked to the onset of Alzheimer's symptoms in older adults.

A blood test can tell if you have this gene, which increases your risk of getting Alzheimer's. Remember that even if a person has this gene, they may not get Alzheimer's.

The opposite is true: Someone can still get Alzheimer's, even if they do not have a genetic predisposition. There is no way to say for sure if someone will have Alzheimer's.

Some genes may also increase the risk of Alzheimer's and early onset of Alzheimer's. Learn more about the link between genetics and Alzheimer's disease.


Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease

Everyone has episodes of forgetfulness from time to time. But people with Alzheimer's disease show certain behaviors and symptoms that continue to worsen over time. These may include:

memory that affects everyday activities, such as the ability to save appointments
the trouble with common tasks, such as using a microwave
difficulty solving problems
problem with speaking or writing
confusion of times or places
come down to judgment
declining personal hygiene
emotional and personality changes
withdrawal from friends, family, and community
Find out about the early signs of Alzheimer's and how it progresses into more severe symptoms.


Alzheimer's stages

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disease, which means that the symptoms will get worse over time. Alzheimer's is divided into seven categories:

Stage 1. There are no symptoms yet but there may be an early diagnosis based on family history.

Stage 2. The first symptoms appear, such as forgetfulness.

Stage 3. Minor physical and mental disabilities, such as loss of memory and concentration, appear. This can only be seen in the closest person to a person.

Stage 4. Alzheimer's is commonly diagnosed in this stage but is still considered mild. Memory loss and inability to perform daily tasks are evident.

Section 5. Moderate and severe symptoms require the help of loved ones or caregivers.

Section 6. At this stage, a person with Alzheimer's may need help with basic activities, such as eating and dressing.

Stage 7. This is the most severe and final stage of Alzheimer's.

As a person progresses through these stages, he or she will need increased support from the caregiver. Find out more about the stages of Alzheimer's disease and the potential needs for each individual.


Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease

The only direct way to find someone with Alzheimer's disease is to examine their brain tissue after death. However, your doctor may use other tests and tests to test your mental abilities, diagnose dementia, and manage other conditions.

They may start by taking a medical history. They can ask about yours:

symptoms
family medical history
other current or past health conditions
current or past medications
eating, drinking, or other life-styles
From there, your doctor may perform several tests to help you determine if you have Alzheimer's disease.


Alzheimer's test

There is no clear diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. However, your doctor will likely perform several tests to determine if you have any. This can be a mental, physical, emotional, and photographic examination.

Your doctor may begin with a psychiatric examination. This can help them check your short-term memory, long-term memory, and location and time. For example, they might ask you:

Your doctor may also perform neurological tests to rule out other possible diagnoses, such as a serious medical condition, such as an infection or a stroke. During the test, they will test your thinking, muscle tone, and speech.

Your doctor may also order brainstorming courses. These lessons, which will create images of your brain, can include:

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRIs can help in the acquisition of important markers, such as inflammation, bleeding, and structural problems.
Computed tomography (CT) scan. CT scans take X-rays that can help your doctor look at abnormalities in your brain.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan. PET scan images can help your doctor determine if there is a wooden frame.
Other tests your doctor may include a blood test for genetic testing that may indicate a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease. Find out more about these tests and other ways to diagnose Alzheimer's disease.


Your doctor may also recommend anti-depressants, antidepressants, or antipsychotics to help manage Alzheimer's-related symptoms. These symptoms include:

disappointment
instability
agitation
madness


Another treatment for Alzheimer's

In addition to medication, lifestyle changes can help you manage your condition. 

focus on activities
reduce confusion
avoid arguments
get enough rest every day
sit down
Some people believe that vitamin E may help prevent mental decline, but research shows that more research is needed. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking vitamin E or other ingredients. It can affect some of the medicines used to treat Alzheimer's disease.

In addition to lifestyle changes, there are many options for consulting your doctor. Learn more about alternative Alzheimer's treatment.


Prevention of Alzheimer's

As long as there is no known cure for Alzheimer's, there are no irrational protections. However, researchers have focused on overall healthy lifestyle habits as a means of preventing depression.

The following steps may help:

Stop smoking.
Exercise regularly.
Try mental exercises.
Eat plant-based foods.
Use more antioxidants.
Maintain active public health.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before making any major changes in your life.

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