Everything you need to know about Alzheimer disease

By Dr. Sachin Singh | 13th Dec 2021

Everything you need to know about Alzheimer disease

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that results in memory loss and cognitive deterioration due to the death of brain cells. Around 60% to 80% of instances of dementia in the United States are caused by Alzheimer’s. It is most common in adults 65 and older, with just 10% of instances occurring in people younger than this. Memory, reasoning, and recognising familiar faces become increasingly difficult as the disease progresses. As Alzheimer’s progresses, the patient may require full-time care. Alzheimer’s disease symptoms may vary from person to person, although memory loss is one of the most common. Alzheimer’s may also be characterised by a loss in other parts of thinking, such as difficulty finding the proper words, visual/spatial difficulties, and impaired reasoning or judgement.

Alzheimer’s disease symptoms may vary from person to person, although memory loss is one of the most common.

We don’t know what causes Alzheimer’s disease. Numerous risk factors, both environmental and genetic, contribute to its occurrence. Amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and brain cell death are all major contributors to the disease process.

What causes Alzheimer’s?

According to current theories, the aberrant accumulation of proteins within and surrounding brain cells is the root cause of Alzheimer’s.

Plaques form around brain cells as a result of protein deposits known as amyloid.

Tau is the other protein, and it accumulates within brain cells to form tangles. Several years before Alzheimer’s symptoms start to manifest, scientists have a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease causes. There is a reduction in chemical messengers (referred to as neurotransmitters) that are involved in transferring messages or signals between brain cells when they are influenced by brain cells.

  • Alzheimer’s disease causes by the cholinergic theory-The cholinergic hypothesis posit that Alzheimer’s disease causes by decreased synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and it is the oldest concept on which most pharmacological interventions are based.
  • Alzheimer’s disease causes by the hypothesis of the amyloid-The APP gene’s position on chromosome 21 and the fact that people with chromosome 21 (Down syndrome) who have an additional gene copy virtually uniformly develop at least the initial indications of Alzheimer’s by the age of 40 support this hypothesis.
  • Tau hypothesis-It is the contention of the tau hypothesis that anomalies in tau protein are a precursor to the disease process. The photoreceptor transport system collapses as the microtubules in the cell cytoskeleton dissolve, destroying the cell’s structure.
  • Alzheimer’s disease causes by Genetic-Inheritance is just a factor in 1–2 per cent of Alzheimer’s disease patients (autosomal dominant). Early-onset related Alzheimer’s, also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s, can begin at a young age and advance at a rapid rate.
  • Mutation of Osaka-The Osaka mutation was initially described in 2008 and is associated with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease occurs only in homozygotes.
  • Plaques-Beta-amyloid is a protein fragment. These pieces appear to be toxic to neurons and impede cell-to-cell transmission when clumped together.
  • Inflammatory theory-Inflammatory in Alzheimer’s may be exacerbated by sleep disruptions. It has been assumed that Alzheimer’s disease causes sleep issues, but new research suggests that they may really be a contributing factor.

Alzheimer’s disease symptoms

Alzheimer’s disease symptoms worsen over time. Memory loss is a common symptom that develops early in Alzheimer’s.

A list of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms includes:

  1. Alzheimers symptoms like memory loss- A person may have trouble absorbing and remembering new knowledge:
  • Repetition of questions or conversations
  • Absenteeism
  • Neglecting appointments or events
  • Getting lost
  1. Alzheimers symptoms like cognitive flaws- A person may have a hard time with complex tasks, reasoning, and making decisions:
  • a lowered awareness of potential dangers and hazards
  • difficulty in managing one’s finances
  • difficulty in deciding what to do
  1. Alzheimers symptoms recognization issues-Faces and things may become harder to identify, and basic tools may become more difficult to utilise. This is not a result of an eye ailment.
  2. Alzheimers symptoms like spatial awareness issues-A person may have a hard time keeping their balance, fall over, or spill things more frequently, or they may have a hard time putting their clothes on correctly.
  3. Alzheimer’s disease symptoms are Speech, reading, or writing issues-A person may find it difficult to think of popular terms, or they may make more errors in speaking spelling, or writing.
  4. Alzheimer’s disease symptoms changes in personality or conduct- As a result of a mental illness, a person’s personality and conduct may alter in a variety of ways, including;
  • As a result of a mental illness, a person’s personality and conduct may alter in a variety of ways, including.
  • a loss of empathy; compulsive, obsessive, or socially unacceptable behaviour.
  • an increase in negative emotions.

Alzheimer’s disease symptoms progress in three phases, with escalating cognitive and functional impairment.

  1. First symptoms- In the beginning, the symptoms are typically misdiagnosed as the result of age or stress. Early signs of Alzheimer’s may be spotted by neuropsychological testing up to eight years before a patient meets the clinical criteria for the illness’s diagnosis.
  2. Early-stage- Alzheimer’s sufferers gradually lose their ability to learn and remember, which eventually leads to a definitive diagnosis. Language, executive functions, perception (agnosia), or execution of motions (apraxia) may be more prevalent than memory issues in a tiny number of people with dementia.
  3. Middle stage- In the long run, deterioration leads to a loss of independence, with patients unable to conduct the majority of everyday tasks. Changes in behaviour and brain chemistry become more common. There are a number of common symptoms, including wandering, irritation and emotional lability, which can result in tears, unplanned aggressiveness or reluctance to accept care.
  4. Late-stage- The patient is fully dependent on carers at the late-stage or severe condition. Short phrases or even single words eventually lead to loss of speech.

Also Read-Heart murmur symptoms: Overview, causes, symptoms and treatment.

What are brain-related diseases?

In healthy ageing, the brain shrinks but does not lose many neurons. The hippocampus is two areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s at the beginning stages. In the long run, it has an impact on the parts of the brain responsible for language, thinking, and social conduct

In brain diseases several molecular and cellular changes. Researchers are trying to figure out which changes in the brain are the effect of Alzheimer’s and which are the source of the disease.

  • Amyloid Plaques
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles
  • Chronic Inflammation
  • Vascular Contributions 
  • Loss of Neuronal Connections and Cell Death

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