Pathological Mechanisms In Ad
Neurofibrillary tangles , another pathological hallmark of the disease, are largely constituted by intracellular aggregates of paired helical filaments , which arise from the collapse of the neuronal cytoskeleton. The structure and function of microtubules are impaired as a consequence of the abnormal hyperphosphorylation of Tau protein, which precludes its ability to stabilize the monomers of alpha- and beta-tubulin. Hyperphosphorylated Tau aggregates into oligomers to form PHFs to further originate NFTs. Several protein kinases are involved in this process, namely glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta , cyclin-dependent kinase-5 , and extracellular signal-related kinase-2 these enzymes may also be regarded as potential targets for disease-modification, upon their inhibition by specific drugs. GSK-3, the most important Tau kinase in neurons, is overactive in AD and its overexpression has been shown to hyperphosphorylate Tau in transgenic mouse models of AD,. The inhibition of GSK-3 not only precludes the hyperphosphorylation of Tau, but also yields the dephosphorylation of its abnormally hyperphosphorylated epitopes by the action of protein phosphatases. Therefore, the interruption and reversal of this process may restore microtubular structure and function. Moreover, GSK-3 inhibition downregulates the amyloidogenic cleavage of APP, which provides further evidence of the cross-talk between these two major pathological cascades in AD.
Which Drug Did The Fda Recently Approve
On June 7, 2021, the FDA announced its approval of aducanumab , a monoclonal antibody that is administered through an IV infusion once every four weeks. This is the first new Alzheimer’s medication the FDA has approved since 2003, and it is the first drug that claims to slow down the actual process of Alzheimer’s in people with mild cognitive impairment, which it does by reducing the production of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. “This approval is a victory for people living with Alzheimers and their families, said Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimers Association, in a statement. This is the first FDA-approved drug that delays decline due to Alzheimers disease.”
While the news has been embraced by many in the Alzheimer’s community, who welcome the first ray of hope after decades of promising drug trials that ended in disappointment, many researchers in the fieldincluding an independent advisory panel that the FDA tasked with evaluating the databelieve the drug has not proven that its efficacy outweighs the risks .
The treatment is not cheapit costs roughly $56,000 per yearand the individual is required to undergo regular MRIs to check for swelling in the brain, at an additional cost.
Current Research Into Alzheimers Disease
Named for the man who identified these plaques and tangles, Alois Alzheimer, Alzheimers disease is one of the best understood forms of dementia with a lot of research being done to find a cure all over the world. Given that Alois Alzheimer made his discovery little over a hundred years ago, investigations into the disease are making good progress and the future looks bright.
Here in the UK, there are many ongoing projects into the diagnosis, prevention of, risk factors, symptoms, understanding and possible treatments for Alzheimers disease. These range from What role does the tau protein play in dementia? to Understanding the link between dementia and hearing loss. To read more about current studies, visit Alzheimers Research UKs projects page.
If you would like to donate towards research into Alzheimers disease, you can donate to Alzheimers Research UK.
Article By: Sarah MunsonLast Updated: 28 Feb 2022
You May Like: Alzheimer’s Lack Of Neurotransmitter
Early Onset Alzheimers Disease
Although age is the main risk factor for Alzheimers disease, this is not just a condition that affects older adults.
According to the Alzheimers Association, early onset Alzheimers disease affects around 200,000 U.S. adults under the age of 65 years. Many people with this condition are in their 40s or 50s.
In many cases, doctors do not know why younger people develop this condition. Several rare genes can cause the condition. When there is a genetic cause, it is known as familial Alzheimers disease.
Home Remedies And Lifestyle
Non-drug approaches focus on treating the behavioral, psychological, and emotional symptoms of Alzheimer’s by changing the way you understand and interact with the person with the disease.
These approaches recognize that behavior is often a way of communicating for those with Alzheimer’s. The goal of non-drug approaches is to understand the meaning of the challenging behaviors and why they are present.
Non-drug approaches should generally be attempted before using psychotropic medications since they do not have the potential for side effects or medication interactions.
Read Also: Andrea Mitchell Drunk
Q: Does That Mean The Amyloid Hypothesis Is Completely Wrong
The amyloid hypothesis is that amyloid is the trigger of everything in Alzheimers. That seems now to be wrong.
New studies from the past decade tell us that amyloid is part of the story of Alzheimers disease, but its the smoke, not the fire. Weve learned that the single-gene and more common, complex forms of Alzheimers are not identical, though they do overlap.
Theres been a lot of backlash against the amyloid hypothesis lately, but in the 90s, it was the right idea. The pharmaceutical industry was right to jump on the amyloid bandwagon. And theyre now right to give it up, I think.
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
develops due to the death of brain cells. It is a neurodegenerative condition, which means that the brain cell death happens over time.
In a person with Alzheimers, the brain tissue has fewer and fewer nerve cells and connections, and tiny deposits, known as plaques and tangles, build up on the nerve tissue.
Plaques develop between the dying brain cells. They are made from a protein known as beta-amyloid. The tangles, meanwhile, occur within the nerve cells. They are made from another protein, called tau.
You May Like: Alzheimer’s Disease Ribbon Color
Caring For Someone With Alzheimers Disease
Caring for someone with Alzheimers disease can be hard but also rewarding. Your emotional and physical support will be a great help when the person’s world seems confusing and hostile. Take advantage of the community support thats available for people with Alzheimers disease, their families and carers.
Q: Is There Anything People Can Do Now To Prevent The Disease Or At Least Delay It For Several Years
In my practice, I encounter many people who have family members with Alzheimer’s and theyre worried about their genes. But in most cases, just because your mother has it doesnt mean youre going to get it.
In a complex disease, each gene and each environmental factor is like putting a pebble on a scale. None of them by themselves can prevent or cause Alzheimers. So if your parent has Alzheimers, that puts one pebble on the scale. But if you went to college, if you exercise, those are pebbles on the other side of the scale.
Many of the things that we thought historically cause Alzheimer’s have been debunkedfor example, the idea that it was caused by various heavy metals. But we do know that maintaining cardiac health is good: Exercise is good smoking is bad developing diabetes or obesity increases the risk. These recommendations, as most people know, are true for any disease.
People often ask me this question, hoping I know something that no one else does. I dont have any other answers at the moment, but everyone in the field is doing their best to find new ways to forestall this disease.
Recommended Reading: Dementia Ribbon Colors
Cure For Alzheimer’s Disease
ALZHEIMERS DISEASEWRITTEN BY: BRITNEY JESTERAlzheimers is a type of dementia, a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. Its symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. There is no known cure for it at this time, and has only but a few treatment options to help temporarily improve symptoms. More than three million US cases are diagnosed per year for the ages 65+, and over 200,000 cases in those younger than 65 and is the 6th leading cause of death
Dosage And Side Effects
Doctors usually start patients at low drug doses and gradually increase the dosage based on how well a patient tolerates the drug. There is some evidence that certain patients may benefit from higher doses of the cholinesterase inhibitor medications. However, the higher the dose, the more likely are side effects. The recommended effective dosage of Namenda is 20 mg/day after the patient has successfully tolerated lower doses. Some additional differences among these medications are summarized in the table on the other side.
Patients may be drug sensitive in other ways, and they should be monitored when a drug is started. Report any unusual symptoms to the prescribing doctor right away. It is important to follow the doctors instructions when taking any medication, including vitamins and herbal supplements. Also, let the doctor know before adding or changing any medications.
Recommended Reading: Neurotransmitters Involved In Alzheimer’s
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimers disease is a brain disorder that cannot be stopped or reversed. The disease severely affects memory, thinking, learning and organizing skills and eventually affects a persons ability to carry out simple daily activities. Alzheimers disease is not a normal part of the aging process.
Alzheimers is a disease whose symptoms worsen over time. In fact, scientists believe the disease process may go on for 10 years or longer before the first symptoms of Alzheimers disease appear.
When memory problems do begin to be noticeable, they are often identified as mild cognitive impairment . At this stage, intellectual function is affected but the ability to function and live independently remain intact as the brain compensates for disease-related changes.
In some people, MCI can hold steady at this stage. However, people with MCI are at high risk for progressing to dementia. Alzheimers disease is the most common form of dementia. With dementia, in contrast to MCI, daily function is affected.
As dementia due to Alzheimers disease progresses to late stages, affected individuals cannot carry on a conversation, recognize family and friends, or care for themselves.
How Common Is Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia . Alzheimers disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
One in 10 people older than 65 and nearly half of people older than 85 have Alzheimers disease. Alzheimers disease can also affect people in their 40s. The percentage of people who have Alzheimers disease rises every decade beyond the age of 60. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, with the aging of the population and without successful treatment, there will be 14 million Americans and 106 million people worldwide with Alzheimers disease by 2050.
Also Check: Alzheimer’s Paranoia Medication
What Is The Outlook For People With Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers disease gets worse over time and is ultimately fatal. Persons with Alzheimers disease live, on average, four to eight years after diagnosis. Some patients can live as long as 20 years after diagnosis. The course of the disease varies from person to person.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/18/2019.
Caregiving For Someone With Alzheimers
Try to keep a daily routine for your family member who has Alzheimers disease. Avoid loud noises and overstimulation. A pleasant environment with familiar faces and mementos helps soothe fear and anxiety. Have a realistic expectation of what your family member can do. Expecting too much can make you both feel frustrated and upset. Let your family member help with simple, enjoyable tasks, such as preparing meals, gardening, doing crafts and sorting photos. Most of all, be positive. Frequent praise for your family member will help him or her feel betterand it will help you as well.
As the caregiver of a person who has Alzheimers disease, you must also take care of yourself. If you become too tired and frustrated, you will be less able to help your family member. Ask for help from relatives, friends and local community organizations. Respite care may be available from your local senior citizens group or a social services agency. Look for caregiver support groups. Other people who are dealing with the same problems may have some good ideas on how you can cope better and on how to make caregiving easier. Adult day care centers may be helpful. They can give your family member a consistent environment and a chance to socialize.
Last medically reviewed on August 17, 2016
The Extensive Effects Of Alzheimers Disease
IntroductionAlzheimers Disease is one of the most common causes of death in the United States, and one of the most detrimental to families around the nation. This disease affects millions of people and brings a large financial burden upon the people who give support to the affected. The expenses of Alzheimers are so high that the disease has caused a financial epidemic through out the nation. Through research, it has been concluded that Alzheimers is the most expensive disease to be effected
Q: If Drugs Against Amyloid Arent The Answer What Is
Back in the 80s and 90s, genetic tools weren’t quite developed enough to address the real question we had: What genes are involved in most cases of Alzheimers disease?
Techniques have advanced and we can now answer this question. New studiesmany led by Richard Mayeux, MD have been pointing to other processes in the brain. We also have better biological tools that can reveal the basic problem inside neurons.
Based on this research, the new consensus in the field is that there are two other pathways that cause the disease.
One involves protein trafficking, which is how proteins are shipped to different sites within a single cell. The health of neurons, more so than other cells, depends on protein trafficking in and out of one particular site: the endosome.
In Alzheimers, the flow of proteins out of the endosome is blocked, and we think that causes the other problems we see in the disease: the amyloid, the tau tangles also common in the Alzheimers brain, and the neurodegeneration. Essentially it’s a plumbing problem.
Our research here at Columbia provided some early evidence for an endosomal trafficking problem in Alzheimers. And genetic studiesincluding those led by Dr. Mayeuxhave now found that some endosomal genes are linked to Alzheimers, which provides more support.
Also Check: Where To Buy Jelly Drops For Dementia Patients
What Medications Can Help
The FDA has approved the drug aducanumab-avwa as the first therapy that targets the fundamental pathophysiology of the disease by reducing amyloid beta plaques in the brain. It is not without controversy because of concerns it may cause swelling of bleeding in the brain.
Some drugs curb the breakdown of a chemical in the brain, called acetylcholine, thatâs important for memory and learning. They may slow down how fast symptoms get worse for about half of people who take them. The effect lasts for a limited time, on average 6 to 12 months. Common side effects are usually mild for these medications and include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, and weight loss. There are three drugs of this type: donepezil , galantamine , and rivastigmine .
Doctors can also prescribe medicines for other health problems that happen along with the disease, including depression, sleeplessness, and behavior problems like agitation and aggression.
Symptoms Of Alzheimers Disease
Age is the most prevalent factor in developing Alzheimers disease. Many older people experience minor cognitive decline but if they have Alzheimers, these symptoms will worsen over months or years. Early on, people can often continue their lives as normal but late-stage dementia can impair peoples ability to function, talk or even walk.Alzheimers disease can occur in people under 65 so if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, particularly if they are worsening, speak to your GP.
- Memory loss, particularly in retaining new information as opposed to remembering things from your past
- Difficulty concentrating, such as on a conversation, book or TV programme
- Difficulty with analysing. This could be struggling to weigh up options when deciding what to do next or finding brainteasers and puzzles much harder than you used to
- Often not knowing what day or time of day it without looking at a clock or calendar
- Losing things
- Being unable to complete daily tasks or continuing with social commitments due to poor memory or confusion.
You May Like: Bob Knight Dementia
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
How Alzheimer’s Disease Is Treated
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you may feel scared, frustrated, and more. While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s at this time, there are many ways to treat the symptoms and even help manage the disease’s progression.
Treatment options for the behavioral and psychological symptoms of Alzheimer’s include drug therapy and non-drug approaches, such as behavioral and environmental modifications.
Also Check: Alzheimer’s Awareness Ribbon