Alzheimer’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Alzheimer’s disease is considered to be one of the most expensive and costly diseases in society because of the high cost of managing the patient’s requirements once the sufferer has lost control of the disease. Senile dementia of the Alzheimer type attacks the memory and speech regions of the brain, making the brain literally shrink to an abnormal size.

Gradual loss of body function is also affiliated with Alzheimer’s, which is a progressive nervous system disorder, the progression of which is not well understood. Alzheimer’s is thought to be associated with plaques and tangles in the brain. No matter how severe the onset of the disease may be, the patient is manageable up to a certain period of time, and hence it is prudent to apply all precautionary measures against it and know as much about Alzheimer’s as possible.

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Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers don’t yet fully understand the cause behind Alzheimer’s, but what the latest research reveals as possible causes of the disease follow:

  • reduced synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine
  • generalized neuroinflamation
  • APP gene that develops fibrilliar amyloid plaques
  • The onset of Alzheimer’s could be due to plaques and tangles in the brain.
  • The N-APP/DR6 pathway might be involved in self destruction and neuronal withering.
  • Tau protein abnormalities may be responsible in initiating Alzheimer’s.
  • Another hypothesis states that the disease must be due to age-related myelin breakdown.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Some of the numerous symptoms of the Alzheimer’s disease that may be observed in early stages include

  • short-term memory loss
  • disorientation
  • problems with abstract thinking
  • problems in relation to planning and managing
  • withdrawal from social activities
  • mood fluctuations
  • language troubles
  • changes in sleeping routine
  • loss of the ability to retrace steps
  • degradation of judgment skills

Treatment and Prevention of Alzheimer’s

The treatments listed below act as a preventive measure rather than a cure, since researchers are still in the process of formulating an effective treatment against Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Cholinesterase inhibitors have shown some effect in relation to the degenerative disease.
  • Partial glutamate antagonists have also shown to be of use against Alzheimer’s.
  • Cognitive rehabilitation also yields positive results up to a certain extent.
  • Psychosocial intervention has also been proved to be helpful in this regard.
  • Vitamin E is useful for people suffering from Alzheimer’s.
  • Musical therapies help with the memory processing of the brain.
  • Art therapies are also known to have a positive effect on memory processing.
  • Diet rich in fish, healthy oils and nuts also help delay Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s disease or the senile dementia of the Alzheimer type may not yet have acquired a permanent cure. What needs to be done is the proper containment of the disease and effective preventive measures in order to spread the awareness about Alzheimer’s and prevent the development of the disease in any patient encountered, which should buy enough time for the researchers to find a cure and implement it worldwide.

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