Understanding Alzheimer's Disease
You Just Watched:
By understanding Alzheimer's disease the condition can be easier to manage. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: There are over 5 million Americans who have Alzheimer's disease...a number that is expected to rise to...
There are over 5 million Americans who have Alzheimer's disease...a number that is expected to rise to 14 million by 2050! So what IS Alzheimer's disease? Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative brain disorder that gradually destroys memory and cognitive functioning. There is no cure for Alzheimer's and it eventually results in death. Alzheimer's is fairly new to medical literature. The first case was recorded by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist, in 1901. Dr. Alzheimer noted changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had this disease. He found both amyloid plaques, or irregular clumps, and neurofibrillary tangles, or bunched up fibers, in his patient's brain. Today, doctors agree that both these physical changes are typical of Alzheimer's. Doctors have also learned that patients' nerve cells die and nerve connections are disrupted, leading to decreased memory and thinking. Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia, a group of disorders in which loss of brain cells leads to diminished mental function. Symptoms vary by individual and the progression of the disease, but most people with Alzheimer's experience degenerative memory loss and difficulty performing basic tasks. Many people with the disease often experience behavioral changes, rapid mood swings and loss of initiative. These symptoms, which are characteristic of the disease, can strike anyone. In 1994, former President Ronald Reagan joined the ranks of those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Because he knew the condition would destroy his cognitive functioning, President Reagan spent the last years of his life in isolation with his wife, Nancy. In 2004, Reagan died of Alzheimer's disease at 93-years of age. Scientists haven't yet found a "reason" why brain cells fail and amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles develop. But there are several factors that can increase a person's chance of developing this disease. The greatest risk factor is age. Most people with the disease are 65 or older. For people over 85, the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease rises to almost 50 percent! Another risk factor is the patient's family history. Those who have a grandparent, parent, or sibling with Alzheimer's are more likely to develop the condition themselves. Similarly, scientists know that genes play a role in the disease. There are currently two genes that have been identified as leading to Alzheimer's. A strong link between head injury and Alzheimer's disease has also been established. Brain health is connected to heart health, so high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol and stroke can all increase the chances of developing this form of dementia. Because Alzheimer's can strike anyone, it's important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors, and to seek immediate treatment if you are experiencing abnormal memory loss or sudden personality changes.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-04 | Tags »
alzheimers age, alzheimers risk factors, alzheimers disease, alzheimers definition, what is alzheimers disease, what is alzheimer disease, alzheimer symtpoms, alzheimers disease definition, alzheimers stages, dementia, neurological disorder, neurological disorder, brain disorder, brain function memory loss, mood swings, diminished mental function, decreased mental function, behavioral changes, loss of initiative, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol conditions, brain, alzheimers disease, neurology
Aren't Alzheimer's and dementia the same thing? Not quite. Learn how they are two different conditions.
Transcript: Dementia and Alzheimer's. Both result in a loss of cognitive function, so many people assume that they're...
Dementia and Alzheimer's. Both result in a loss of cognitive function, so many people assume that they're DIFFERENT names for the SAME disease. In fact, dementia is a GENERAL description of cognitive problems such as memory loss, the inability to reason, communication problems, paranoia, and personality changes. Dementia can be caused by MANY different conditions or disorders. Alzheimer's is the most common TYPE of dementia, accounting for 50 to 70 percent of all cases. It's a degenerative brain disease that is characterized by the formation of what are called amyloid plaques and nerve fiber tangles. These clumps of runaway proteins interfere with the transmission of information from nerve to nerve. Over time, some areas of the brain shrink and other areas, where there is cerebrospinal fluid, enlarge. Other types of dementia include multi-infarct dementia-which is triggered by mini-strokes, and dementia associated with circulatory problems such as atherosclerosis. Dementia can also be triggered by infections that affect the central nervous system such as HIV or Parkinson's, chronic drug or alcohol use, depression, and complications from an injury. These types of dementia strike a diverse range of people, while Alzheimer's most often occurs in those over the age of 60. In fact 45% of people 85 or older develop Alzheimer's. It is possible to have more than one form of dementia, and Alzheimer's and vascular dementia are frequently co-conditions. To learn more about Alzheimer's disease, watch the other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-20 | Tags »
difference between alzheimers dementia, alzheimers definition, dementia definition, vascular dementia, causes of dementia, senility, alzheimers dementia, types of dementia, amyloid plaques,nerve fiber tangles alzheimers symptoms, alzheimers causes, alzheimers treatment, dementia symptoms neurological disorder, brain disorder, nervous system, neurotransmitters, nerves, elderly, senior health, old people alzheimers alsheimers, alzeimers, alzhiemers
For effective Alzheimer's treatment, it is important you have a full understanding of the disease. Watch this video for suggestions on Alzheimer's questions for your doctor.
Transcript: An Alzheimer's diagnosis is the FIRST step in establishing your management plan. Let's run down a list...
An Alzheimer's diagnosis is the FIRST step in establishing your management plan. Let's run down a list of questions you and your loved ones should discuss with your doctor. First question-what are the PROS and CONS of taking Alzheimer's medication? TWO types of medications sometimes slow memory loss and cognitive lapses for a few months to a few years. You should discuss the risks and benefits of each with your physician and possibly anyone who may be providing your care later. Next question - what can YOU do to help slow down the disease? In addition to taking medication, people with Alzheimer's disease should become physically and mentally active, and eat nutritiously-these actions may temporarily slow the worsening of symptoms. Here's another question-what is going to happen NEXT? It's an upsetting question for those in the early stages of Alzheimer's, but it IS important for you and your family members to prepare for the disease progression. There are 7 stages of Alzheimer's: They range from stage 1, no impairment, through stage 4, moderate decline, to stage 6, severe decline, in which a person will no longer remember their own personal history; and stage 7 when they are often completely bedridden and need help with all physical functions. The time line for each stage is completely individual. In general, people with Alzheimer's live about 9 to 12 years after a diagnosis at age 65. Last question-- How can my family and I help EACH OTHER? Your doctor may suggest that you organize your legal and financial matters now, before Alzheimer's prevents you from making sound decisions. Your family can take you to doctor's appointments, help you organize your house and schedule to accommodate your illness, and take over your care if or when Alzheimer's advances. You can and should ask your doctor additional questions-- these are just a FEW that should be touched upon in a talk with your doctor.More »
Last Modified: 2012-12-12 | Tags »
questions for doctor, ask your doctor, alzheimers guidelines, alzheimers progression, last stages of alzheimers, stages of alzheimers, family care alzheimers, nursing home alzheimers, prognosis alzheimers, life expectancy alzheimers caregiving, neurologist, symptoms of alzheimers, ronald reagan, will, inheritance doctor appointment alzheimers, neurological disorder, brain disorder, nerves, amyloid plaques alsheimers, alzeimers, alzhiemers