Alzheimer’s disease is neurological disease that destroys memory and cognitive responses. It’s a irreversible and progressive brain disease. About 520,000 people are living with this disease in UK. It slowly causes the brain cells to die. It accounts for the 70% to 80% of cases of dementia. Dementia is characterized as memory loss and decline in thinking and responding behaviors. This happens when the brain is harmed by certain neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is named after Alois Alzheimer, a doctor who first described and diagnosed this disorder. During this disease, there are some structures formed inside the brain, made of protein mainly. These structures are known as tangles and plaques. This causes the loss of connections between the nerve cells. Brain tissues and nerve cells die in this condition, which is the first symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. People who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, have a shortage of some compounds and chemicals in brain. These compounds are messengers which help to transmit signals all over the brain.
As the disease progresses, severeness of this disease increases. People begin to encounter problems with behavioral issues, mood swings, loss of motivation, managing self care and language disorientation. Time to time, most of the body functions are lost which eventually leads to death.
Alzheimer’s disease usually begins in the people over the age of 65 years. Although, Alzheimer is not a disease of old age. About 4 to 5% of cases before 65 are usually early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
CAUSES OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE:
The clear and exact reason behind Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown. Some cases of this disease were found to be having genetic causes. But there are several researches and hypothesis that try to explain the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Cholinergic hypothesis is the oldest hypothesis on which many of the drug therapies are based. It proposed that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by decreased synthesis of acetycholine. This hypothesis have not been proved because there were several medications to treat deficiency of this neurotransmitter, which has not proven treated this disease even after that.
Amyloid hypothesis was postulated in 1991, which proposed that extracellular amyloid beta deposits are the main reason behind this disorder. A vaccine was made that was effectively used to remove these deposits. But still it didn’t have any visible effect on Alzheimer’s disease.
There are some abnormal tau proteins that may initiate this disease. This research was based on Tau hypothesis.
About 5% of the cases of Alzheimer’s disease were found to have genetic causes.
SYMPTOMS OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE:
We all know that our bodies change as we grow. The same things happens to our brain. We get to notice these changes gradually. People with Alzheimer’s disease, begin to show some behavioral and cognitive changes, as this disease progresses. These symptoms include:
- Difficulty in remembering things
- Language disorientation
- Mood swings
- Behavioral changes
- Confusion about events, place and time
- Difficulty in walking, speaking and swallowing
- Memory loss
Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed with the help of brain scans through medical imaging, computed tomography (CT), single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging. Diagnosis is also known as medical history of the patient, his relatives and behavior.
TREATMENT AND CURE:
Alzheimer’s disease is a complex and progressive disease, it can be fully treated with one medicine, drug or vaccine. It is treated very slowly. There are several drugs therapies, immunization therapy, physical treatments and cognitive training to eventually treat this neurological disorder.
MEDICATION FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE:
- Rivastigmine (Exelon)
- Donepezil (Aricept)
- Memantine (Namenda)
- Galantamine (Razadyne)
- Tacrine (Cognex)
The Alzheimer’s Association researched that Alzheimer’s can be somehow prevented by changing lifestyle, eating habits and behavior responses.
- Avoid smoking
- Combat low education
- Properly and clearly treat and prevent chronic disorders and conditions including high blood cholesterol, diabetes, depression, obesity and hypertension.
- Being mentally and physically active.