The Signs Of Normal Ageing And Dementia
The table below lists some of the possible changes due to both normal ageing and early dementia. However, it is important to remember that everyone is different and not everyone with dementia will have all of these changes.
Other conditions may also account for some of them. For example, a person with depression can have problems making decisions, get confused easily and appear withdrawn or irritable.
The Combined Effect Of Multiple Genes
Why is the inheritance of late-onset Alzheimers so much less frequent than for early-onset? In part, the answer is that there is no single gene mutation that consistently causes late-onset Alzheimers in the autosomal dominant pattern characteristic of early-onset AD. Instead, the late-onset form seems to represent the combined effect of multiple genes, each of which increases the risk a little. The best known of these, the apolipoprotein E gene , provides information that the body needs to make a protein that plays a role in the transport of fats and cholesterol throughout the body. The Greek letter epsilon followed by a number is used to name the parts of ApoEs three versions: ApoE2, ApoE3, and ApoE4. One ApoE gene copy is inherited from each parent, so any combination of two gene copies can be present. The 4 type has been linked with an increased risk for early or late onset AD, and people who have inherited two copies are at even greater risk. It is estimated that people with the two copies of the 4 gene are at 12 to 15 times the risk for AD compared to noncarriers.4 But inheriting one or even two ApoE 4 genes does not guarantee that AD will develop, nor does the absence of any 4 genes assure that AD will not develop. In African Americans, the relationship of ApoE genotype to AD inheritance risk is weaker than in European Ancestry populations.
Finding A Huge Gap In Services And Supports For Younger People
âI unfortunately ran into that brick wall where I was ineligible for just about everything because of my age.â â Faye.
Most social programs and services are designed for older people with dementia. In comparison, the number of programs designed for people living with young onset dementia is sparse.
People living with young onset dementia may not find the programs intended for older adults interesting or beneficial in respect to their needs. They may not feel comfortable in a seniorsâ program. And even if they were interested and comfortable in joining a program, they might be ineligible because of their age!
We have a gap in our knowledge about young onset dementia. As a result, there simply aren’t enough information, support, financial aid and services adapted for younger people living with dementia.
However, this is changing. The Young Onset Gap Analysis Project, initiated through the National Information Support and Education Committee and the Alzheimer Society of Canada , explored the gaps of available learning and support resources for people living with young onset dementia, and sought advice and feedback from those with lived experience.
The information from this report is being used to develop new resources dedicated to education and support for people living with young onset dementia, families, caregivers and healthcare providers.
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The Basics Of Alzheimers Disease
Scientists are conducting studies to learn more about plaques, tangles, and other biological features of Alzheimers disease. Advances in brain imaging techniques allow researchers to see the development and spread of abnormal amyloid and tau proteins in the living brain, as well as changes in brain structure and function. Scientists are also exploring the very earliest steps in the disease process by studying changes in the brain and body fluids that can be detected years before Alzheimers symptoms appear. Findings from these studies will help in understanding the causes of Alzheimers and make diagnosis easier.
One of the great mysteries of Alzheimers disease is why it largely affects older adults. Research on normal brain aging is exploring this question. For example, scientists are learning how age-related changes in the brain may harm neurons and affect other types of brain cells to contribute to Alzheimers damage. These age-related changes include atrophy of certain parts of the brain, inflammation, blood vessel damage, production of unstable molecules called free radicals, and mitochondrial dysfunction .
What Is The Burden Of Alzheimers Disease In The United States
- Alzheimers disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.2
- The 6th leading cause of death among US adults.
- The 5th leading cause of death among adults aged 65 years or older.3
In 2020, an estimated 5.8 million Americans aged 65 years or older had Alzheimers disease.1 This number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.1
In 2010, the costs of treating Alzheimers disease were projected to fall between $159 and $215 billion.4 By 2040, these costs are projected to jump to between $379 and more than $500 billion annually.4
Death rates for Alzheimers disease are increasing, unlike heart disease and cancer death rates that are on the decline.5 Dementia, including Alzheimers disease, has been shown to be under-reported in death certificates and therefore the proportion of older people who die from Alzheimers may be considerably higher.6
How Is Dementia Different From Normal Ageing
Many of us get a little more forgetful as we get older. Most people will need a bit longer to remember things, get distracted more easily or struggle to multi-task as well as they once did. This may become noticeable particularly from middle age – usually taken as during our 40s, 50s and early 60s – onwards.
These changes are normal, but they can be a nuisance and at times frustrating. However, you may worry that these things are an early sign of dementia. It’s important not to worry too much about this. For most people, these changes will be the result of normal ageing and won’t be down to dementia.
What To Expect With Early
Alzheimers is a brain disease that eventually results in a slow decline of cognitive memory, comprehension, and reasoning skills. The most common signs of the disease, especially in the early stage, is forgetting important dates, events, times, or seasons. This is most often the case with recently learned information or their short term memory.
Patients on this stage will tend to ask for the same information over and over, have trouble following or joining a conversation and find it increasingly difficult to concentrate or complete simple tasks. Early detection is vital to determine if the symptoms are due to Alzheimers or some other treatable condition.
Devoted Guardians’ Response to COVID-19
Devoted Guardians is actively monitoring the progression of the coronavirus, COVID-19, to ensure that we have the most accurate and latest information on the threat of the virus. As you know, this situation continues to develop rapidly as new cases are identified in our communities and our protocols will be adjusted as needed.
While most cases of COVID-19 are mild, causing only fever and cough, a very small percentage of cases become severe and may progress particularly in the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions. Because this is the primary population that Devoted Guardians serves, we understand your concerns and want to share with you how our organization is responding to the threat of COVID-19.
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Getting An Accurate Diagnosis
â with young onset is that dementia is not something that they think about initially. If youâre a woman, the first thing they think about is menopause and depression and anxiety and panic and sleep disorders and all those kinds of things.â â Faye, from Windsor Junction, Nova Scotia. Faye lives with young onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Diagnosing dementia can be a long and complicated process. For younger people, itâs even more complicated and frustrating. Healthcare providers are often reluctant to diagnose dementia in someone so young, and itâs common for a person who has young onset dementia to be misdiagnosed with another condition, such as depression.
As a a result, the person living with young onset dementia may not get the appropriate knowledge, treatment and support to fight the disease.
What Are The Signs Of Alzheimers 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 .
Addressing Early Onset Alzheimers Symptoms
Fortunately, there are ways to begin treating some of the symptoms of early onset Alzheimers once its been identified, and there are ways of coping with the disease.
Family members may often have to advocate for their loved one if theyre experiencing these symptoms at a young age. Thats because primary care doctors, Ellison said, often do not have the specialized training to understand early symptoms of dementia and they typically have less and less time to spend with their patients.
Its critically important for families to persist, he said, because other treatable diseases may be causing dementia-like symptoms. Untreated attention disorder deficit, Ellison said, can often look like early dementia. In other cases, gastrointestinal issues cause dementia-like symptoms or multiple medications may be causing a negative reaction.
The first step is to check in with your doctor and ask for a memory or cognition test. Once you or your loved one has been assessed, your primary care doctor should refer you to a dementia specialist to run further tests and ultimately arrive at a diagnosis.
Being able to diagnose the disease early on can help your doctor tailor a treatment plan that may help slow the progression of the disease.
One critical reason to address early signs of dementia is the fact that Ellison and other experts say changes in lifestylediet, exercise and other stepscan help delay onset of full dementia.
Medications To Maintain Mental Function In Alzheimer’s Disease
Several medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat symptoms of Alzheimers. Donepezil, rivastigmine, and galantamine are used to treat the symptoms of mild to moderate Alzheimers. Donepezil, memantine, the rivastigmine patch, and a combination medication of memantine and donepezil are used to treat moderate to severe Alzheimers symptoms. All of these drugs work by regulating neurotransmitters, the chemicals that transmit messages between neurons. They may help reduce symptoms and help with certain behavioral problems. However, these drugs dont change the underlying disease process. They are effective for some but not all people and may help only for a limited time.
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Can Alzheimer’s Disease Be Prevented
As the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not clear, there’s no known way to prevent the condition.
But there are things you can do that may reduce your risk or delay the onset of dementia, such as:
- staying physically fit and mentally active
These measures have other health benefits, such as lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and improving your overall mental health.
Read more about preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
How Does Peanut Butter Detect Alzheimers
The researchers discovered that those who had an impaired sense of smell in the left nostril had early-stage Alzheimers. They noted that the participants needed to be an average of 10 centimeters closer to the peanut butter container in order to smell it from their left nostril compared to their right nostril.
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Aao As A Therapeutic Target
The ability to delay the AAO of AD through preventive or therapeutic approaches would have significant benefits. A 2012 study found a protective variant in APP, which suggests that manipulating the amyloid pathway could be a successful approach to reducing AD . One can predict that other elements participating directly or indirectly in the proteolytic processing of APP will also be good therapeutic targets to modulate the disease.
The Top 10 Signs Of Dementia And Alzheimers Disease
The key to managing Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia is to catch it early. According to the Alzheimers Association, brain changes associated with Alzheimers disease begin as long as 20 years before symptoms appear, so it pays to be on the lookout for any and all signs and symptoms.
Here are the top 10 warning signs of dementia and Alzheimers disease:
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The Genetic Risk Of Late
Much more commonly, the clinical symptoms and signs of AD become apparent after age 60. Although much evidence tells us that a disease process was smoldering for many years before its clinical appearance, this later development of evident signs is called late-onset Alzheimers disease. The likelihood of inheriting late-onset AD from a parent is much lower than the risk of inheriting the early-onset form from a parent with an autosomal dominant gene mutation.1 Still, there is about a five-fold greater risk of developing AD by age 87 for a person of age 65 with a first degree relative who has the late-onset form of this disease. Joanne and her sister, therefore, are at significantly greater risk for AD by age 87 than the 1 in 10 risk of a 65 year old without an affected parent or sibling.2 For a person of African-American or Caribbean-Hispanic ancestry and a relative with late-onset Alzheimers, the risk is greatly increased even more.3
Attention And Language Impairment
While memory challenges can be involved in early onset Alzheimers, signs that something could be wrong can be much broader. In fact, experts note that memory loss, which is closely associated with Alzheimers, may actually be less prominent in people with early onset Alzheimers.
Instead, people with early onset Alzheimers often complain about difficulties finding words in conversation. They can experience problems with attention and orientation, as well as with simple math.
In the aggregate, patients with early-onset Alzheimers Disease, compared to similarly impaired patients with late-onset Alzheimers Disease, have better memory recognition scores and semantic memory but worse attention, language, executive functions, ideomotor praxis, and visuospatial skills, a research paper by Dr. Mario Mendez noted.
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How Is Alzheimers Disease Diagnosed
Talk to a doctor if you or a loved one is finding it increasingly difficult to perform day-to-day tasks, or if you or a loved one is experiencing increased memory loss. They may refer you to a doctor who specializes in AD.
Theyll conduct a medical exam and a neurological exam to aid in the diagnosis. They may also choose to complete an imaging test of your brain. They can only make a diagnosis after the medical evaluation is completed.
Theres no cure for AD at this time. The symptoms of AD can sometimes be treated with medications meant to help improve memory loss or decrease sleeping difficulties.
Research is still being done on possible alternative treatments.
The Seven Stages Of Dementia
One of the most difficult things to hear about dementia is that, in most cases, dementia is irreversible and incurable. However, with an early diagnosis and proper care, the progression of some forms of dementia can be managed and slowed down. The cognitive decline that accompanies dementia conditions does not happen all at once – the progression of dementia can be divided into seven distinct, identifiable stages.
Learning about the stages of dementia can help with identifying signs and symptoms early on, as well as assisting sufferers and caretakers in knowing what to expect in further stages. The earlier dementia is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can start.
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What Role Do Genes Play In Late
In 1906, Dr. Alois Alzheimers research uncovered a link between damaged brain tissue and memory loss. Since then, scientists have learned a lot more about the disease named after him. We now know that early-onset Alzheimers is usually based on genetics and can be more readily inherited, while you are less likely to inherit late-onset Alzheimers.
There is no single gene mutation that causes late-onset Alzheimers. The late-onset condition seems to be caused by multiple genes. The most problematic and best-known gene is called ApoE and has been clinically linked with late-onset Alzheimers.
To complicate matters further, there are three versions of the ApoE gene: ApoE2, ApoE3 and ApoE4. Out of this alphabet soup, the ApoE4 gene has been linked with an increased risk of acquiring Alzheimers.
Having the ApoE gene doesnt mean you will definitely develop the disease, but it does increase your risk. On the flip side, some people without the ApoE gene can still develop Alzheimers as well.
There are also plenty of non-genetic risk factors that can contribute to late-onset Alzheimers. In other words, inherited genes arent the only cause of Alzheimers. What researchers call epigenetic events can impact your risk for Alzheimers because they may result in changes in genes. They can be negatively or positively attributed to factors such as diet, exercise, smoking, environmental hazards, diabetes and other diseases.