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Why Is It Called Alzheimer’s Disease

Early Onset Alzheimers Disease

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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.

What Is Mild Cognitive Impairment

Mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, is a condition in which people have more memory problems than normal for their age but are still able to carry out their normal daily activities. A doctor can do thinking, memory, and language tests to see if a person has MCI. People with MCI are at a greater risk for developing Alzheimers disease, so its important to see a doctor or specialist regularly if you have this condition.

Health Environmental And Lifestyle Factors That May Contribute To Alzheimer’s Disease

Research suggests that a host of factors beyond genetics may play a role in the development and course of Alzheimer’s disease. There is a great deal of interest, for example, in the relationship between cognitive decline and vascular conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Ongoing research will help us understand whether and how reducing risk factors for these conditions may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

A nutritious diet, physical activity, social engagement, sleep, and mentally stimulating pursuits have all been associated with helping people stay healthy as they age. These factors might also help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Clinical trials are testing some of these possibilities.

Early-life factors may also play a role. For example, studies have linked higher levels of education with a decreased risk of dementia. There are also differences in dementia risk among racial groups and sexesall of which are being studied to better understand the causes of Alzheimers disease and to develop effective treatments and preventions for all people.

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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.


Why Alzheimers Is Called The Family Disease

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Alzheimers disease is often called a family disease, because the chronic stress of watching a loved one slowly decline affects everyone, reports The Family Caregiver Alliance.

The disease can run its course from two to 20 years and turn a fully functioning adult or senior citizen into a helpless individual.

The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Pittsburgh,, points out that today, home-based care for Alzheimer patients may entail tremendous economic, emotional and even psychological costs. Family caregivers often give up time from work and forego pay to spend 47 hours per week on average with an affected loved one who frequently cannot be left alone.

In many ways, the effects of Alzheimers disease on the family can be as devastating as its effects on the patient.

Early Effects

Receiving the diagnosis is traumatic for everyone. The early effects of Alzheimers on the family consist largely of processing the diagnosis, learning about the disease and preparing for the future.

Individuals with AD may begin to say things and act in ways that are offensive and hurtful towards others. A gentle woman may become violent or a careful man become reckless, and as the Family Caregiver Alliance,, points out, family members need to learn to differentiate between the disease and your loved one in order to keep from internalizing these actions as purposefully inflicted wounds.

Middle Effects

Late Effects

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Fda Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation To Gantenerumab

Now, a pair of scientists at the Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease in the U.S. have proposed a possible mechanism. In their paper, the teams goal was to connect seemingly unconnected observations reported in the literature to build the molecular dynamics that lead from HSV1 infection to Alzheimers, they wrote.

At times, HSV1 infections can be lytic thats when sores appear. However, most of the time, HSV1 infections are latent essentially, the virus lingers in nerve cells without causing overt damage. The researchers think this phase of viral infection is mainly responsible for the link to Alzheimers.

Although HSV1 doesnt really cause overt damage in the latency phase, the virus is still active. In other words, its DNA is being constantly read in infected cells.

When a cell reads a gene, the process requires certain proteins called transcription factors, which bind to the cells DNA and help to coordinate the reading. When a cell reads a viral gene, it also requires transcription factors, including some of the same proteins needed to read the cells own DNA.

In their paper, the researchers specifically highlight that certain transcription factors particularly one called GABP are used to read certain HSV1 genes during latent infection.

Disrupted autophagy and mitochondrial function, as well as impaired nerve health, are well-established biological hallmarks of Alzheimers.

How Is Alzheimers Disease Diagnosed

Doctors use several methods and tools to help determine whether a person who is having memory problems has Alzheimers disease.

To diagnose Alzheimers, doctors may:

  • Ask the person and a family member or friend questions about overall health, use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, diet, past medical problems, ability to carry out daily activities, and changes in behavior and personality.
  • Conduct tests of memory, problem solving, attention, counting, and language.
  • Carry out standard medical tests, such as blood and urine tests, to identify other possible causes of the problem.
  • Perform brain scans, such as computed tomography , magnetic resonance imaging , or positron emission tomography , to support an Alzheimers diagnosis or to rule out other possible causes for symptoms.

These tests may be repeated to give doctors information about how the persons memory and other cognitive functions are changing over time.

People with memory and thinking concerns should talk to their doctor to find out whether their symptoms are due to Alzheimers or another cause, such as stroke, tumor, Parkinsons disease, sleep disturbances, side effects of medication, an infection, or another type of dementia. Some of these conditions may be treatable and possibly reversible.

In addition, an early diagnosis provides people with more opportunities to participate in clinical trials or other research studies testing possible new treatments for Alzheimers.

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Alzheimers Biological Pathway Is Not Well Understoodyet

Currently, researchers understand that abnormal fragments of a protein called beta-amyloid accumulate to form plaques in the brain of individuals with Alzheimers, particularly in regions that support memory. In addition, the accumulation of tau proteins is another hallmark of the disease, but researchers are still debating whether these characteristics of Alzheimers are causes or symptoms of the disease.

Despite these challenges and the many setbacks we have seen in the pipeline, there is still reason to hope. Researchers learn from every unsuccessful medicine in the pipeline and use those findings to inform future research. Right now, biopharmaceutical companies are researching 92 potential medicines for the treatment of Alzheimers. An analysis by UsAgainstAlzheimers of medicines in development found that of those in Phases II and III, approximately 75 percent have the potential to be disease-modifying treatments.

Setbacks are an inherent part of the drug development process, particularly in the case of Alzheimers. But these setbacks dont necessarily mean progress hasnt been made. Despite the incredibly challenging hurdles, most Alzheimers researchers agree that with very failure comes a lesson, and eventually, these lessons will lead to the breakthrough we need.

What Happens In Alzheimer Disease

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You probably know that your brain works by sending signals. Chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters , allow brain cells to talk to each other. But a person with Alzheimer disease has lower amounts of neurotransmitters.

People with Alzheimer disease also develop deposits of stuff that prevent the cells from working properly. When this happens, the cells can’t send the right signals to other parts of the brain. Over time, brain cells affected by Alzheimer disease also begin to shrink and die.

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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.

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.

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Type 3 Diabetes May Be Treatable Preventable Or Curable With Antidiabetes Drugs

Treatment with PPAR agonists restores brain insulin receptor binding in ic-STZ-treated rats. Long Evans rat pups were treated with 50 mg/kg ic-STZ or vehicle and sacrificed 30 days later to examine brains for insulin and IGF polypeptide and receptor gene expression and insulin and IGF receptor binding. Temporal lobe membrane protein extracts were used in competitive equilibrium binding assays to measure specific binding to the insulin, IGF-1, or IGF-2 receptors as described in . Graphs depict the mean ± standard error of the mean of results. Data were analyzed using ANOVA with the TukeyKramer post hoc significance test. Significant p-values are shown within each panel.

Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease

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The brain is made up of billions of nerve cells that connect to each other. In Alzheimers disease, connections between these cells are lost. This is because proteins build up and form abnormal structures called plaques and tangles. Eventually nerve cells die and brain tissue is lost.

The brain also contains important chemicals that help to send signals between cells. People with Alzheimers have less of some of these chemical messengers in their brain, so the signals are not passed on as well. There are some drug treatments for Alzheimers disease that can help boost the levels of some chemical messengers in the brain. This can help with some of the symptoms.

Alzheimers is a progressive disease. This means that gradually, over time, more parts of the brain are damaged. As this happens, more symptoms develop, and they also get worse.More than 520,000 people in the UK have dementia caused by Alzheimers disease and this figure is set to rise.

Dementia and the brain

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How Does Alzheimer’s Disease Progress

The rate of progression of the disease varies from person to person.

However, the disease does lead eventually to complete dependence and finally death, usually from another illness such as pneumonia. A person may live from three to twenty years with Alzheimer’s disease, with the average being seven to ten years.

Alzheimer’s Disease Is Type 3 Diabetes: Experimental Animal Model Results

The human postmortem brain studies linked many of the characteristic molecular and pathological features of AD to the reduced expression of the insulin and IGF genes and their corresponding receptors. However, without direct experimentation that generates causeeffect data, conclusions drawn from human studies would remain correlative rather than mechanistic. Consequently, we utilized experimental models to demonstrate that diabetes mellitus-type molecular and biochemical abnormalities could be produced in CNS neurons and brain by exposure to streptozotocin . Streptozotocin is 2-Deoxy-2D-glucopyranose, i.e., a nitrosamide methylnitrosourea linked to the C2 position of D glucose. Once metabolized, the N nitrosoureido is liberated and causes DNA damage through generation of reactive oxygen species such as superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and nitric oxide., Streptozotocin causes diabetes because it is taken up by insulin-producing cells, such as beta cells, in pancreatic islets.

We treated rats with a single intracerebral injection of STZ and allowed the rats to grow older for 2 to 8 weeks. The rats were subjected to Morris water maze tests of spatial learning and memory, and their brains were examined for histopathological, biochemical, and molecular indices of AD-type neurodegeneration.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Early

For most people with early-onset Alzheimer disease, the symptoms closely mirror those of other forms of Alzheimer disease.

Early symptoms:

  • Withdrawal from work and social situations

  • Changes in mood and personality

Later symptoms:

  • Severe mood swings and behavior changes

  • Deepening confusion about time, place, and life events

  • Suspicions about friends, family, or caregivers

  • Trouble speaking, swallowing, or walking

  • Severe memory loss

Medications To Treat The Underlying Alzheimer’s Disease Process

What is Alzheimers Disease?

Aducanumab is the first disease-modifying therapy approved by the FDA to treat Alzheimers disease. The medication helps to reduce amyloid deposits in the brain and may help slow the progression of Alzheimers, although it has not yet been shown to affect clinical outcomes such as progression of cognitive decline or dementia. A doctor or specialist will likely perform tests, such as a PET scan or analysis of cerebrospinal fluid, to look for evidence of amyloid plaques and help decide if the treatment is right for the patient.

Aducanumab was approved through the FDAs Accelerated Approval Program. This process requires an additional study after approval to confirm the anticipated clinical benefit. If the follow-up trial fails to verify clinical benefit, the FDA may withdraw approval of the drug. Results of the phase 4 clinical trial for aducanumab are expected to be available by early 2030.

Several other disease-modifying medications are being tested in people with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimers as potential treatments.

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What Causes Alzheimer Disease

Lots of research is being done to find out more about the causes of Alzheimer disease. There is no one reason why people get it. Older people are more likely to get it, and the risk increases the older the person gets. In other words, an 85-year-old is more likely to get it than a 65-year-old. And women are more likely to get it than men.

Researchers also think genes handed down from family members can make a person more likely to get Alzheimer disease. But that doesn’t mean everyone related to someone who has it will get the disease. Other things may make it more likely that someone will get the disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Down syndrome, or having a head injury.

On the positive side, researchers believe exercise, a healthy diet, and taking steps to keep your mind active may help delay the start of Alzheimer disease.

Signs And Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of cognitive impairment related to Alzheimers. Some people with memory problems have a condition called mild cognitive impairment . With MCI, people have more memory problems than normal for their age, but their symptoms do not interfere with their everyday lives. Movement difficulties and problems with the sense of smell have also been linked to MCI. Older people with MCI are at greater risk for developing Alzheimers, but not all of them do so. Some may even revert to normal cognition.

The first symptoms of Alzheimers vary from person to person. For many, decline in nonmemory aspects of cognition, such as word-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment may signal the very early stages of the disease. Researchers are studying biomarkers to detect early changes in the brains of people with MCI and in cognitively normal people who may be at greater risk for Alzheimers. More research is needed before these techniques can be used broadly and routinely to diagnose Alzheimers in a health care providers office.

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Alzheimers Disease Is An Irreversible Progressive Brain Disorder That Slowly Destroys Memory And Thinking Skills And Eventually The Ability To Carry Out The Simplest Tasks In Most People With Alzheimers Symptoms First Appear In Their Mid

Alzheimers disease is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, but recent estimates indicate that the disorder may rank third, just behind heart disease and cancer, as a cause of death for older people.

Alzheimers is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioningthinking, remembering, and reasoningand behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a persons daily life and activities. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a persons functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of daily living.

The causes of dementia can vary, depending on the types of brain changes that may be taking place. Other dementias include Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal disorders, and vascular dementia. It is common for people to have mixed dementiaa combination of two or more disorders, at least one of which is dementia. For example, some people have both Alzheimers disease and vascular dementia.

Alzheimers disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer. In 1906, Dr. Alzheimer noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. Her symptoms included memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. After she died, he examined her brain and found many abnormal clumps and tangled bundles of fibers .

Changes in the Brain



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