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HomeHealthHow Are Other Body Systems Affected By Alzheimer's

How Are Other Body Systems Affected By Alzheimer’s

Here Are Some Guidelines And Safety Tips In Regards To The Degeneration Of The Five Senses And How It Will Affect The Person With Alzheimers Disease:

What is dementia with Lewy bodies?

1. Sight There may be nothing physically wrong with the eyes of your loved one; however the brains ability to interpret the images may be decreased. This can cause confusion, disorientation and the inability to recognize familiar people or places. A few tips to manage this decline would be to: Create color contrast between floors and walls to create visual depth. Mark the edges of steps and stairs with brightly colored strips of tape to identify height changes. Place brightly colored signs or simple pictures on doors for easier identification.

2. Smell It is very common for smell to be the first sense affected by Alzheimers disease. In most cases, it is noticed before the diagnosis of Alzheimers has been made. It is important to keep refrigerators clear of spoiled food.

3. Taste If youve ever noticed that when you nose is stuffy due to a cold or infection, your sense of taste is greatly decreased. The loss of smell plus the added decrease in taste bud sensitivity, can really affect the way your loved one tastes things. There is also the danger of confusion, leading them to place hazardous items in their mouths. Some simple recommendations would be to lock up cleaning supplies and consider learning the Heimlich maneuver in case of an emergency.

What Research Is Being Done

Scientists all over the world are working hard to gain a better understanding of the many different aspects of dementia. This might help to develop preventive measures, improved early detection diagnostic tools, better and longer-lasting treatments, and even cures.

For example, early research suggests a common asthma drug called zileuton might slow, stop, and potentially reverse the development of proteins in the brain. These proteins are common in people with Alzheimers disease.

Another recent research development suggests deep brain stimulation could be an effective way to limit symptoms of Alzheimers in older patients. This method has been used to treat symptoms of Parkinsons disease, such as tremors, for decades.

Now, researchers are looking at the possibility of slowing the progression of Alzheimers.

Scientists are investigating a variety of factors they think might influence the development of dementia, including:

  • genetic factors

Why Did We Fund This Project

‘This project is presented very clearly and it could be helpful to be able to detect dementia as early as possible, particularly if effective treatments can also be developed.’

‘This work really is at the front-edge of finding out why and how AD develops. The use of time-lapse video microscopy sounds very exciting to actually see the inflammatory response.’

‘A well thought out and presented application which makes clear the work to be undertaken. The outcome hopefully will lead to a better understanding of how dementia progresses in the brain.’

Read Also: What Are The Last Stages Of Vascular Dementia

Physical Changes To Expect

Which symptoms you have and when they appear are different for everyone.

Some people have physical problems before serious memory loss.

In one study, people who walked slowly and had poor balance were more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the following 6 years.

Some of the changes you might experience are:

  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Stiff muscles

How Does Alzheimers Disease Affect The Brain

Alzheimer Disease

The brain typically shrinks to some degree in healthy aging but, surprisingly, does not lose neurons in large numbers. In Alzheimers disease, however, damage is widespread, as many neurons stop functioning, lose connections with other neurons, and die. Alzheimers disrupts processes vital to neurons and their networks, including communication, metabolism, and repair.

At first, Alzheimers disease typically destroys neurons and their connections in parts of the brain involved in memory, including the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus. It later affects areas in the cerebral cortex responsible for language, reasoning, and social behavior. Eventually, many other areas of the brain are damaged. Over time, a person with Alzheimers gradually loses his or her ability to live and function independently. Ultimately, the disease is fatal.

Read Also: Is Reading Good For Dementia

Vascular Contributions To Alzheimers Disease

People with dementia seldom have only Alzheimers-related changes in their brains. Any number of vascular issuesproblems that affect blood vessels, such as beta-amyloid deposits in brain arteries, atherosclerosis , and mini-strokesmay also be at play.

Vascular problems may lead to reduced blood flow and oxygen to the brain, as well as a breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, which usually protects the brain from harmful agents while allowing in glucose and other necessary factors. In a person with Alzheimers, a faulty blood-brain barrier prevents glucose from reaching the brain and prevents the clearing away of toxic beta-amyloid and tau proteins. This results in inflammation, which adds to vascular problems in the brain. Because it appears that Alzheimers is both a cause and consequence of vascular problems in the brain, researchers are seeking interventions to disrupt this complicated and destructive cycle.

How Will This Benefit People Affected By Dementia

This multidisciplinary approach will build a detailed picture of the changes that happen to cells in the brain during Alzhiemer’s disease. An understanding of what happens in the cells at the earliest stages could be used to design potential new treatments that aim to stop these changes before symptoms of the disease begin to show.;

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Continue Learning About Dementia

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

Wednesday Workshop How Alzheimers Disease Affects The 5 Senses

What is vascular dementia?

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Workshop. If you are caregiver, you realize, or soon will, that the level and type of care needed by a person with Alzheimers disease is ever changing. You will experience good days and bad days and, as the disease progresses, new symptoms may appear and/or old ones worsen. Being flexible and patient with a person with Alzheimers is a must.

As the caregiver, it is important that you keep in mind that the disease affects the brain directly and the body indirectly. A person who suffers from Alzheimers may be physically healthy otherwise, but due to the deterioration of certain parts of the brain, the body doesnt respond as it should.

Also Check: Do People With Dementia Sleep More

Prevention Of Alzheimer Disease

Some research tentatively suggests certain measures that may help prevent Alzheimer disease:

  • Controlling cholesterol levels: Some evidence suggests that having high cholesterol levels may be related to developing Alzheimer disease. Thus, people may benefit from a diet low in saturated fats and, if needed, drugs to lower cholesterol and other fats .

  • Controlling high blood pressure: High blood pressure may damage blood vessels that carry blood to the brain and thus reduce the brains oxygen supply, possibly disrupting connections between nerve cells.

  • Exercising: Exercising helps the heart function better and, for unclear reasons, may help the brain function better.

  • Keeping mentally active: People are encouraged to continue doing activities that challenge the mind, such as learning new skills, doing crossword puzzles, and reading the newspaper. These activities may promote the growth of new connections between nerve cells and thus help delay dementia.

  • Drinking alcohol in modest amounts: In modest amounts , alcohol may help lower cholesterol and maintain blood flow. Alcohol may even help with thinking and memory by stimulating the release of acetylcholine and causing other changes in nerve cells in the brain. However, there is no convincing evidence that people who do not drink alcohol should start drinking to prevent Alzheimer disease. Once dementia develops, abstaining from alcohol is usually best because it can make symptoms of dementia worse.

How Does Alzheimers Affect The Respiratory System

Breathing problems arent normal, but they are quite common in older people, especially those with Alzheimers disease. It can be caused by a number of conditions, including:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Heart failure

Breathing issues can be prevented by avoiding sudden temperature changes, air pollution, pollen, dust, cigarette smoke and chemical fragrances.

Doing breathing exercises can help get as much air in the lungs as possible. One way to do this is to sit up straight. Then breathe in through the nose, purse lips and then breathe out slowly. Try to breathe out twice as long as you breathed in.

Read Also: What Happens To The Hippocampus In Alzheimer’s

Health Environmental And Lifestyle Factors

Research has shown that many factors other than genetics may also have a role to play in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. While scientists are still researching, there seems to be a connection between cognitive decline and vascular conditions, such as stroke, heart disease, and hypertension. It is thought that controlling risk factors for these serious diseases may actually help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, but there is no concrete research to confirm it yet. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you age may also help lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Key Biological Processes In The Brain

20 Ways to Beat Alzheimer

Most neurons have three basic parts: a cell body, multiple dendrites, and an axon.

  • The cell body contains the nucleus, which houses the genetic blueprint that directs and regulates the cells activities.
  • Dendrites are branch-like structures that extend from the cell body and collect information from other neurons.
  • The axon is a cable-like structure at the end of the cell body opposite the dendrites and transmits messages to other neurons.

The function and survival of neurons depend on several key biological processes:

Neurons are a major player in the central nervous system, but other cell types are also key to healthy brain function. In fact, glial cells are by far the most numerous cells in the brain, outnumbering neurons by about 10 to 1. These cells, which come in various formssuch as microglia, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytessurround and support the function and healthy of neurons. For example, microglia protect neurons from physical and chemical damage and are responsible for clearing foreign substances and cellular debris from the brain. To carry out these functions, glial cells often collaborate with blood vessels in the brain. Together, glial and blood vessel cells regulate the delicate balance within the brain to ensure that it functions at its best.

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Dementia With Lewy Bodies

The brain of a person with dementia with Lewy bodies often shows less overall shrinkage than the brain of someone with Alzheimer’s or FTD. Instead, tiny deposits of protein are seen in the cerebral cortex, limbic system and brain stem.

In DLB, early damage is seen in the visual pathways and – in some studies – also in the frontal lobes. This may explain why problems with vision and attention are common early symptoms of DLB.

Similarly, Lewy bodies in the brain stem may be linked to the problems with movement, as also seen in Parkinson’s disease.

Dementia Connect support line

What Are Some Complications Of Alzheimers Disease

Alzheimers disease is an irreversible form of dementia. The rate of progression differs between people: some people have it only in the last 5 years of their life, while others may have it for as long as 20 years. Alzheimers disease eventually leads to complete dependence and increasing frailty. This means a secondary illness, such as pneumonia, may eventually cause death.

Other complications of Alzheimers disease may include:

  • an inability to complete daily tasks such as planning meals and managing money
  • a tendency to wander from home
  • personality changes such as anxiety, depression and irritability that make relationships more difficult
  • delusions and hallucinations in advanced stages of the disease

Recommended Reading: When Does Dementia Typically Start

What Are The Symptoms Of Alzheimers Disease

Early on, Alzheimers disease may be hard to notice. The first signs are usually memory loss and difficulty finding the right words for everyday things. However, many people have trouble with memory but dont have Alzheimers so its important to visit a doctor to work out the exact cause of memory problems.

Other common symptoms of Alzheimers disease include:

  • vagueness in daily conversation

Alzheimers disease is sometimes classified into 3 stages, based on the severity of symptoms:

  • Mild Alzheimers disease: early signs of dementia, no additional support is usually needed.
  • Moderate Alzheimers disease: symptoms are difficult to cope with and support is likely to be required.
  • Advanced Alzheimers disease: continuous care in all daily activities may be needed.
  • Symptoms will progress differently between people, depending on what areas of the brain are affected. A persons symptoms may also change from day to day and can become worse with stress, illness or tiredness.

    Watch the video below to learn more about the early signs of dementia.

    How Vitamin D Affects Alzheimers Risk

    How Dementia Affects Language Skills

    Vitamin D is a controversial topic among doctors, mainly because studies about its health effects have been so conflicting. While vitamin D is critical for many body systems, including bones and the brain, recent studies that have tested these assumptions havent been reassuring. In March, for example, a large study found that vitamin D supplements did not lower the risk of falls, or their resulting injuries, in the elderly.

    That called into question other potential health effects of the vitamin, so researchers led by Joshua Miller at Rutgers University and University of California Davis decided to look at how vitamin D levels among different ethnic populations affected brain function. Because low vitamin D levels have been connected to a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimers disease in previous studies, the group wanted to further investigate the relationship, especially among ethnic groups who traditionally have low levels of vitamin D.

    The study, published in JAMA Neurology, involved 383 people enrolled in a long term Alzheimers study who participated in a series of cognitive studies and had their blood levels of a version of vitamin D measured yearly for five years. At the start of the study, 61% of the volunteers had vitamin D levels below recommended levels, and those with dementia showed lower levels of the vitamin.

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    How Alzheimer’s Disease Is Treated

    There’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but medicines are available that can help relieve some of the symptoms.

    Various other types of support are also available to help people with Alzheimer’s live as independently as possible, such as making changes to your home environment so it’s easier to move around and remember daily tasks.

    Psychological treatments such as cognitive stimulation therapy may also be offered to help support your memory, problem solving skills and language ability.

    Read more about treating Alzheimer’s disease.

    What Is A Microbiome

    The next time you feel lonely, consider this fact: Your body is teeming with guests; about a thousand different species of bacteria, fungi, and viruses living on your skin and inside your digestive system. Your colon is colonized with some 10 trillion of these critters. Together they contain as many cells as your body and weigh as much as your brain. Together, they are referred to as your microbiota, and their collection of genes is called your microbiome. Your microbiome, which contains more than a hundred times as many genes as your own DNA, is not something to ignore.

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    Emotion And Behavior Treatments

    The emotional and behavioral changes linked with Alzheimers disease can be challenging to manage. People may increasingly experience irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, sleep problems, and other difficulties.

    Treating the underlying causes of these changes can be helpful. Some may be side effects of medications, discomfort from other medical conditions, or problems with hearing or vision.

    Identifying what triggered these behaviors and avoiding or changing these things can help people deal with the changes. Triggers may include changing environments, new caregivers, or being asked to bathe or change clothes.

    It is often possible to change the environment to resolve obstacles and boost the persons comfort, security, and peace of mind.

    The Alzheimers Association offer a list of helpful coping tips for caregivers.

    In some cases, a doctor may recommend medications for these symptoms, such as:

    • antidepressants, for low mood

    What Happens To The Body With Alzheimers

    The areas of the brain affected in Alzheimerâs disease ...

    Primarily, Alzheimers impacts the brain. However, as the disease progresses, it starts to harm other bodily systems as well.

    As the brain deteriorates, it has more difficulty controlling parts of the body. Therefore, in the late stages of Alzheimers, those with the disease may exhibit:

    • Dragging or shuffling the feet when walking
    • Difficulty standing
    • Difficulty sitting in a chair
    • Insomnia
    • Difficulty eating, chewing and swallowing
    • Uncontrollable twitches
    • Problems controlling the bladder and bowels
    • Difficulties with tasks of daily living

    Read Also: How To Move A Parent With Dementia To Assisted Living

    What Do We Already Know

    Alzheimer’s disease;affects;brain cells;known as neurons in specific regions of the brain that are involved in memory and thinking. Other cells in the brain are thought to have roles in the disease process as well, including specialised immune cells called microglia. However, the effects the disease has on other types of cells, particularly those in other regions of the brain, have not been thoroughly investigated.

    How Does A Memory Care Unit Help Those With Alzheimers

    We understand the devastating toll Alzheimers takes on families. Thats one reason why we have 28 beds dedicated to our residents who have memory care issues.

    These beds are part of our Memory Care Unit. . In this unit, our residents receive care from friendly employees who have been specifically trained to provide a secure, yet stimulating environment.

    We dont just provide care for those with Alzheimerswe provide care for all of those with all forms of dementia.

    Want to know more? Schedule a virtual tour with us. But hurry, our spaces are limited.

    We look forward to hearing from you.

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