What Are The Signs Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Scientists continue to unravel the complex brain changes involved in the onset and progression of Alzheimers disease. It seems likely that damage to the brain starts a decade or more before memory and other cognitive problems appear. During this preclinical stage of Alzheimers disease, people seem to be symptom-free, but toxic changes are taking place in the brain.
Damage occurring in the brain of someone with Alzheimers disease begins to show itself in very early clinical signs and symptoms. For most people with Alzheimersthose who have the late-onset varietysymptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Signs of early-onset Alzheimers begin between a persons 30s and mid-60s.
The first symptoms of Alzheimers vary from person to person. Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of cognitive impairment related to Alzheimers disease. Decline in non-memory aspects of cognition, such as word-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may also signal the very early stages of Alzheimers disease. And some people may be diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. As the disease progresses, people experience greater memory loss and other cognitive difficulties.
Alzheimers disease progresses in several stages: preclinical, mild , moderate, and severe .
Rapid Weight Loss After 70 May Be An Early Sign Of Alzheimers
Women who carry a gene that puts them at increased risk for Alzheimers disease tend to lose weight faster after age 70 than their peers who dont carry the gene, a new study reports. The findings add to a growing body of evidence linking weight changes and the onset of Alzheimers, and shed new light on how genetic factors may play a role.
For the study, researchers looked at 1,462 women who were part of a large and decades-long study of aging and women in Gothenburg, Sweden. They ranged in age from 38 to 60 at the start of the study and were followed for up to 37 years.
The researchers had information about which women carried the APOE-E4 gene, which increases the risk of developing Alzheimers in old age. Some people who carry the gene will go on to develop the disease. They also had records of the womens body mass index, or BMI, a formula that takes into consideration height and weight to determine if a person is underweight, overweight or normal weight.
The researchers found that declines in BMI after age 70 were most rapid in women with the APOE-E4 gene, regardless of whether the women went on to develop dementia. The findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease.
Men and women with Alzheimers disease also tend to be thinner than those without the illness. Poor appetite, disorientation, problems with vision and perception, and an inability to feed oneself can all contribute to poor nutrition in those with the disease.
Eating Appetite Changes And Weight Loss In Dementia
When we think of dementia, we typically focus on memory loss, difficulty finding the right word, disorientation or poor decision-making skills. These cognitive aspects are central to Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia. However, other challenges in caring for the person with dementia include those related to activities of daily functioning, such as eating, drinking, bathing, and dressing. This includes difficulties in eating and appetite changes, which often result in unintended weight loss.
According to a study of more than 16,000 adults published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: a Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, unplanned weight loss is strongly correlated with dementia severity.
Adequate nutrition is critical to maintaining the highest functioning possible for each person, perhaps especially in dementia, where needs like hunger might not always be fully communicated.
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Dementia And Weight Loss In Patients
Due to our close experience with dementia and weight loss, we found it essential to conduct this extensive article.
People who have dementia may, at one point in the illness, may deal with weight loss at the same time.
This especially happens in the later stages of the disease.
This can be very heartbreaking, due to the fact that food is a very crucial part of a persons existence and health.
Below we talk about weight loss in people who have dementia.
We mention causes, negative effects, and how to manage this distressing condition.
Women Are At A Higher Risk
Surprisingly, the same results were not seen in the male study participants. Post-menopausal hormonal changes can be one reason, says Knopman while its possible that another reason could be social stigma. Since middle-aged men are less likely to prepare their own meals, and usually have spouses or adult children to take care of them, the sense of smell does not affect them as much as it does women.
However, since women take on the majority of the household responsibilities, as the brain damage starts, they forget to shop for groceries regularly, dont cook daily, and even eat less resulting in poor nutrition that leads to extreme weight loss as the disease progresses.
This being said, UK dementia stats claim that 61 percent of dementia patients are females , while in the US, every 1 in 6 women is susceptible to dementia. This means that, regardless of the persons weight, women are at a higher risk of developing dementia later on in their lives.
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You May Have Blood In Stools
A common sign of cancer is blood showing up where it shouldn’t be, and it often will show up in stools. Laura J. Martin, MD, writes for WebMD that, “Cancer can make blood show up where it shouldn’t be. Blood in your poop is a symptom of colon or rectal cancer. And tumors along your urinary tract can cause blood in your urine.”
What Causes Parkinson Disease
Parkinson disease arises from decreased dopamine production in the brain. The absence of dopamine makes it hard for the brain to coordinate muscle movements. Low dopamine also contributes to mood and cognitive problems later in the course of the disease. Experts don’t know what triggers the development of Parkinson disease most of the time. Early onset Parkinson disease is often inherited and is the result of certain gene defects.
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Strategies To Minimise Weight Loss
Given the impact of WL on cognitive performance, cognitive evaluation alone is clearly not enough in the follow-up of patients with AD a multidimensional and multidisciplinary approach is needed. Periodic nutritional assessments should include anthropometric measures, biohumoral tests and an assessment of food intake and eating behaviour. The possible actions that can be taken to contain WL are summarized in Table 1.
Table 1. Strategies to minimize weight loss
Since AD patients have multiple nutritional deficiencies, a number of energy supplements, vitamins and medical foods have attracted interest for the adjuvant treatment of AD in recent years. Administering flavonoids, herbal supplements, phosphatidylserine, essential fatty acid and vitamins may improve cognition, offering some degree of neuroprotection.
How Is Parkinson Disease Treated
Parkinson disease can’t be cured. But there are different therapies that can help control symptoms. Many of the medicines used to treat Parkinson disease help to offset the loss of the chemical dopamine in the brain. Most of these medicines help manage symptoms quite successfully.
A procedure called deep brain stimulation may also be used to treat Parkinson disease. It sends electrical impulses into the brain to help control tremors and twitching movements. Some people may need surgery to manage Parkinson disease symptoms. Surgery may involve destroying small areas of brain tissue responsible for the symptoms. However, these surgeries are rarely done since deep brain stimulation is now available.
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Symptoms Of Mild Cognitive Impairment
Some people have a condition called mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. It can be an early sign of Alzheimers. But, not everyone with MCI will develop Alzheimers disease. People with MCI can still take care of themselves and do their normal activities. MCI memory problems may include:
- Losing things often
- Forgetting to go to events or appointments
- Having more trouble coming up with words than other people the same age
Learn more about Alzheimer’s disease from MedlinePlus.
Progression And Later Stages Of Vascular Dementia
Vascular dementia will generally get worse, although the speed and pattern of this decline vary.
Stroke-related dementia often progresses in a ‘stepped’ way, with long periods when symptoms are stable and periods when symptoms rapidly get worse. This is because each additional stroke causes further damage to the brain. Subcortical vascular dementia may occasionally follow this stepped progression, but more often symptoms get worse gradually, as the area of affected white matter slowly expands.
Over time a person with vascular dementia is likely to develop more severe confusion or disorientation, and further problems with reasoning and communication. Memory loss, for example for recent events or names, will also become worse. The person is likely to need more support with day-to-day activities such as cooking or cleaning.
As vascular dementia progresses, many people also develop behaviours that seem unusual or out of character. The most common include irritability, agitation, aggressive behaviour and a disturbed sleep pattern. Someone may also act in socially inappropriate ways.
Occasionally a person with vascular dementia will strongly believe things that are not true or – less often – see things that are not really there . These behaviours can be distressing and a challenge for all involved.
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You May Have Long Fevers
Fevers aren’t just symptoms for colds and flu viruses, they can also be cancer symptoms. However, cancerous fevers last for a couple of days. According to WebMD, if a fever “is high or lasts more than three days, call your doctor.” They say that fevers are a sign of blood cancers, like lymphoma. Contact a medical professional if you feel any of these symptoms, to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Is Weight Loss An Early Warning Sign Of Alzheimer’s
Over the past several years, researchers have noticed an odd pattern in the relationship between body weight and Alzheimer’s disease: Middle-aged people have a higher long-term risk of developing the disease if they’re overweight or obese, while older people have a lower risk of the disease if they’re carrying excess weight.
MONDAY, November 21, 2011 Over the past several years, researchers have noticed an odd pattern in the relationship between body weight and Alzheimer’s disease: Middle-aged people have a higher long-term risk of developing the disease if they’re overweight or obese, while older people have a lower risk of the disease if they’re carrying excess weight.
A new study, published this week in the journal Neurology, may offer a clue to this so-called obesity paradox. Non-overweight individuals in their late 60s, 70s, and early 80s who have no outward symptoms of Alzheimer’s are more likely than their heavier peers to have biological markers of the disease, the study found. This finding raises the possibility that weight loss or a low body mass index later in life may be an early warning sign of mental decline, the researchers say.
“Weight changes or body composition changes may actually be a manifestation of disease, which would explain the obesity being an apparent protective factor,” says Jeffrey M. Burns, MD, the lead author of the study and the associate director of the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center, in Kansas City.
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Involuntary Weight Loss Due To A Hypermetabolic State
A condition of hypermetabolism, defined as a more than 10% higher REE than in healthy individuals of the same sex, age and body composition, could contribute to WL in AD. It is uncertain, however, whether patients with AD have an abnormal metabolism because the condition has reportedly been associated with increases, reductions and no change in energy metabolism the studies involved were conducted on small samples, however, and some have been judged unreliable.
Weight Loss As A Potential Risk Factor For Alzheimer’s Disease
Although overweight and obesity in middle age are notoriously associated with cerebro- and cardiovascular events, there is some evidence to suggest that WL may be a risk factor for both AD and mild cognitive impairment. Dietary restrictions have been associated with a decline in vigilance, slower reaction times and worsening immediate memory.
WL may contribute to cognitive impairment in various ways . First, it can worsen cognitive performance by causing a deficiency in several micronutrients, including vitamins and essential fatty acids. The possible mechanisms behind this effect could relate to the protective effect of vitamins against tissue oxidative damage, and the biophysical effects of essential fatty acid on neuronal membrane structure. WL could also impair cognitive performance by raising serum cortisol and free radical levels.
In recent years, leptin has also been attracting more interest because it seems to be implicated in the pathogenesis of AD. Leptin is produced in the subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue and its levels drop when a person loses weight. This adipokine seems to improve axon growth, synaptogenesis and cell survival, protecting against glutamatergic cytotoxicity and oxidative damage, and promoting the proliferation of hippocampal progenitor cells. Data from the Framingham study indicate that people with leptin levels in the lowest quartile have a 4-fold higher risk of developing AD than those in the highest quartile after a 12-year follow-up.
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What Is Parkinson Disease
Parkinson disease is a movement disorder. It can cause the muscles to tighten and become rigid This makes it hard to walk and do other daily activities. People with Parkinsons disease also have tremors and may develop cognitive problems, including memory loss and dementia.
Parkinson disease is most common in people who are older than 50. The average age at which it occurs is 60. But some younger people may also get Parkinson disease. When it affects someone younger than age 50, it’s called early-onset Parkinson disease. You may be more likely to get early-onset Parkinson disease if someone in your family has it. The older you are, the greater your risk of developing Parkinson disease. It’s also much more common in men than in women.
Parkinson disease is a chronic and progressive disease. It doesn’t go away and continues to get worse over time.
You May Have Lumps Or Swelling
One of the most common and well-known symptoms of cancer is your lymph nodes swelling or finding a lump on your skin. Dr. Adrian Bloor from The Christie Private Care writes, “If you discover a new lump or swelling which does not go away after a few days, then the recommendation is to seek medical attention so that it can be thoroughly assessed. It could be an early indicator of blood cancer.”
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Improved Identification Of People At Risk Of Developing Alzheimers
In itself, isolated weight loss is not a useful benchmark for determining the risk of Alzheimer’s, as it can lead to many reasons. However, Dr. Grau points out that “incorporating an indicator of body weight changes into risk indices that encompass different measures can help predict which people are most at risk for developing cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”
The study opens the door to include this measure, along with other already established risk factors, to have more tools to determine Alzheimer’s risk. “Keeping this indicator in mind would allow a closer follow-up in patients with cognitive complaints who also present weight loss, as well as facilitate the identification of people who could benefit from more specific tests or possible prevention strategies,” concludes Dr. Grau.
Managing Weight Loss In Persons Who Have Dementia
To avoid a majority of the complications that develop with dementia and weight loss, it is advisable to offer ill persons all the support they need when it comes to HEALTHY eating and drinking.
If the person still shows interest during meal times, there are a few steps you can take to ensure they eat well, such as:
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Living With Parkinson Disease
These measures can help you live well with Parkinson disease:
- An exercise routine can help keep muscles flexible and mobile. Exercise also releases natural brain chemicals that can improve emotional well-being.
- High protein meals can benefit your brain chemistry
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy can help your ability to care for yourself and communicate with others
- If you or your family has questions about Parkinson disease, want information about treatment, or need to find support, you can contact the American Parkinson Disease Association.
What Are The Complications Of Parkinson Disease
Parkinson disease causes physical symptoms at first. Problems with cognitive function, including forgetfulness and trouble with concentration, may arise later. As the disease gets worse with time, many people develop dementia. This can cause profound memory loss and makes it hard to maintain relationships.
Parkinson disease dementia can cause problems with:
- Speaking and communicating with others
- Problem solving
- Paying attention
If you have Parkinson disease and dementia, in time, you likely won’t be able to live by yourself. Dementia affects your ability to care of yourself, even if you can still physically do daily tasks.
Experts don’t understand how or why dementia often occurs with Parkinson disease. Its clear, though, that dementia and problems with cognitive function are linked to changes in the brain that cause problems with movement. As with Parkinson disease, dementia occurs when nerve cells degenerate, leading to chemical changes in the brain. Parkinson disease dementia may be treated with medicines also used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, another type of dementia.
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