What Is The Alzheimer’s Disease
Definition of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and accounts for 60-80 per cent of all cases of dementia. Dementia is a brain disorder that results in the loss of one’s intellectual and social abilities. This disease is classified as a progressive disease that interferes with a person’s mental functions, such as memory and behaviour.
Alzheimer’s Risk Factors
Some things that increase a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s include:
- Age over 60 years.
- Family and genetic history.
- Down’s syndrome.
- Mild cognitive impairment.
- History of head trauma.
- Lifestyle and heart health.
- Diabetes mellitus type 2.
- Low education level.
Causes of Alzheimer’s disease
Changes that occur microscopically in the brain begin long before the first signs of memory loss. The brain has 100 billion nerve cells (neurons). Each nerve cell is connected to many other cells to form a communication network. Nerve cell groups have special work. Some are involved in thinking, learning and remembering. Meanwhile, others help us see and hear.
To do the work, brain cells operate like small factories. They receive supplies, produce energy, build equipment, and dispose of waste. The cells also process and save information and communicate with other cells.
Experts believe that Alzheimer’s disease interferes with part of the cell factory so that it does not go well. These scientists are not sure how this problem started, but like a real factory, backups, and disruptions in one system cause problems in other areas. When damage spreads, cells lose the ability to do work and eventually die, causing changes in the brain that cannot be changed. Read More
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that is characterized by symptoms of dementia and will get worse over time, usually in a matter of years. In the early stages, sufferers will experience mild memory loss, so it is often not realized by both sufferers and those closest to them. At an advanced stage, the symptoms will get worse until the sufferer is unable to communicate with others and respond to the surrounding environment.
Like other cells in the human body, brain cells will experience changes throughout life. Decreased ability to think and remember something that happens sometimes is a normal ageing process. However, severe memory loss accompanied by confusion and other major changes in the way a person thinks can be a sign of brain cell damage.
Early symptoms that may be realized by the sufferer is a decrease in the ability to remember or learn new things. This condition is thought to be related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease which at an early stage occurs in the area of the brain responsible for the learning process. As Alzheimer’s spreads to a wider area of the brain, heavier symptoms then begin to emerge, such as disorientation, mood and behaviour changes, confusion about recent events, and confusion in perception of time and place.
Other severe symptoms can be unfounded suspicion of family members, friends and nurses. At a later stage, symptoms can develop to be very severe, until the stage of sufferers experiences serious memory loss, extreme changes in behaviour, difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking. Other extreme symptoms are insomnia, hallucinations, perception disorders, apathy, depression, aggressive behaviour, and excessive anxiety.
People with memory loss or experiencing other signs that may be symptoms of Alzheimer’s may find it difficult to recognize they have a problem. Signs of dementia are seen more clearly for family members or friends. Anyone who has symptoms similar to dementia should see a doctor as soon as possible.