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Alzheimer’s Disease: Its Causes, Treatment, and Medications

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurologic disorder that affects the brain. One of the main features of this disease is the presence of plaques and tangles in the brain. Another feature is a loss of connection between neurons or nerve cells in the brain. This disease is one of the most common causes of dementia 

Several things that are thought to increase your risk of developing the disease may be: 

  • An increasing age 
  • A family history of the disease 
  • Lifestyle factors and diseases associated with cardiovascular disease 
  • Untreated depression can also be one of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease 

 

What causes Alzheimer’s Disease? 

Alzheimer’s disease is understood to be caused by an unusual build-up of proteins around and inside the brain cells. Some of the proteins involved are amyloid that deposits of which makes plaques around brain cells. Tau is also another protein that deposits of which form tangles within brain cells. As the brain cells become affected, there is also a decrease in chemical messengers involved in sending messages between brain cells.   

The level of one neurotransmitter called acetylcholine is particularly low in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s diseaseDifferent areas of the brain shrink over time. The leading parts commonly affected are accountable for memories.  

 

Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease 

Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. Memory problems are usually one of the first warning signs of the diseaseIn addition, people with Alzheimer’s disease may also experience: 

  • Trouble completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or leisure 
  • Changes in behavior, mood, or personality 
  • Trouble handling money and paying bills 
  • Decreased or poor judgment 
  • Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them 
  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life such as repeating questions or getting lost in a familiar place  

 

Risk Factors Of Having Alzheimer’s Disease 

The following are the listed factors of getting the disease: 

Areas affected by the condition: 

  • Finland 
  • United States 
  • Canada 
  • Iceland 
  • Sweden 
  • Switzerland  
  • Norway 
  • Denmark 
  • Netherlands  
  • Belgium  

 

People who are at risk: 

Alzheimer’s disease is most common in people aged 65 years and older. The risk of this disease and other types of dementia increases with age that affects an estimated 1 in 14 individuals over the age of 65 and 1 in every 6 individuals 80 years of age and older. However, around 1 in every 20 cases of the disease affects people from 40 to 65 years of age. It is called an early or young-onset Alzheimer’s disease.  

 

Safety Precautions  

To prevent stressful and harmful situations, consider these safety tips: 

  • Prepare for emergencies. You need to have an emergency contact number in case something came up.  
  • Have a monitoring device to help you in case you need something or an unexpected situation to occur.  
  • Take caution when using heating device.  
  • Avoid potentially harmful appliances.  
  • Be careful when using a heating device.  

 

Treating Alzheimer’s Disease 

Alzheimer’s disease is not an avoidable condition. Converselythere are various lifestyle risk factors for the disease that can be modified. The changes in diet, habits, and exercise help = to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease which may as well lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Change lifestyle choices that may reduce the risk of the disease include the following: 

  • Eating a diet of healthy oils, fresh produce, and foods low in saturated fat  
  • Exercising regularly 
  • Following treatment guidelines to manage high cholesterolhigh blood pressure, and diabetes 
  • Asking your doctor for help to quit smoking if you smoke 

Studies have made known that preserved thinking skills later in life and a low risk of having the disease are associated with participating in: 

  • Reading 
  • Creating art 
  • Dancing 
  • Playing an instrument 
  • Playing board games 
  • Social events 
  • Other activities that require social and mental engagement 

 

Medications for Alzheimer’s Disease 

Various medications may be prescribed in people with Alzheimer’s disease to help improve some symptoms temporarily. These medications may include: 

  1. Acetylcholinesteraseinhibitors 

These medications increase levels of acetylcholine which is a substance in the brain that helps nerve cells connect. Certain drugs that can be prescribed for people with early- to mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease are: 

  • Donepezil 
  • Rivastigmine 
  • Galantamine  
  1. Memantine

This drug works by blocking the effects of an excessive amount of a chemical in the brain called glutamate. 

  1. Risperidone

This should be used at the lowest dose and for the shortest time possible as it has serious side effects. 

  1. Haloperidol

This should only be used if other treatments have not helped.