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Alzheimer's disease


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Alzheimer's disease

  2. 2. WHAT IS ALZHEIMER’S? Alzheimers is the most common form of dementia. It is a neurodegenerative disease that occurs in the brain. Alzheimer’s disease causes a deterioration in the brain by destroying the nerve cells. Once the nerve cells begin to deteriorate it causes a reduction of responses to other nerve cells. The condition spreads out causing chemical interruptions, the transmission of impulses is slow, and finally tissues in the brain begin to get worse. In Alzheimer’s disease, nerve cells in the brain die gradually. This makes it increasingly difficult for your brain’s signals to be sent properly. There are 7 stages of Alzheimers
  3. 3. HOW YOU GET THE DISEASE? They still don’t know how the Alzheimer’s disease process begins, it seems likely that damage to the brain starts a decade or more before problems become evident. People who have relatives with Alzheimer’s have a higher risk than the general population for developing the disease. People who have a parent or sibling with Alzheimers disease are 3.5 times as likely to develop it. This strong tendency of Alzheimers disease to run in families is due, in part, to mutations in certain genes.
  4. 4. WHERE DOES ALZHEIMER’S AFFECT YOU INTHE BODY? Alzheimer’s affects the brain. Alzheimers causes neurons to die which causes the brain to shrink. This leads to a loss of functioning capabilities in almost all parts of brain, not just the ones that affect memory. This leads to the formation of clumps and tangles within the brain and eventually leads to death. When you have Alzheimer’s the cerebral cortex shrinks massively. The cerebral cortex is the outer surface of the brain and it is responsible for all intellectual functioning. The spaces in the folds of the brain (the sulci) are grossly enlarged. You cannot catch or spread Alzheimer’s
  5. 5. Normal Brain Alzheimer’s Brain
  6. 6. WHEN DO YOU GET ALZHEIMERS? Alzheimer’s disease can occur at any age, even as young as 40 years, but its occurrence is much more common as the years go by Early Alzheimers starts at 65 years of age or younger. Late Alzheimers starts after age 65 One in ten people over 65 years of age suffer from the disease, and over half the people over 85 have Alzheimer’s disease. At first the symptoms are difficult to recognise. In the first 2 stages of Alzheimers you cannot recognise that you have it. Often it is difficult to pinpoint when the Alzheimer’s disease actually began in a person.
  7. 7. SYMPTOMS OF ALZHEIMERS Short term memory loss – forgetting recent events, names and places Difficulty performing familiar tasks Disorientation especially away from your normal surroundings Increasing problems with planning and managing Trouble with language Rapid, unpredictable mood swings Lack of motivation Changes in sleep and confusion about the time of day Reduced judgement e.g. being unaware of danger
  8. 8. 7 STAGES OF ALZHEIMER’S Stage 1: Normal Stage 2: Normal aged forgetfulness Stage 3: Mild cognitive impairment Stage 4: Mild Alzheimer’s Stage 5: Moderate Alzheimer’s disease Stage 6: Moderately severe Alzheimers disease Stage 7: Severe Alzheimers disease
  9. 9. CURE AND TREATMENT FOR ALZHEIMER’S Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. However there are several drugs that may be prescribed to help people with Alzheimer’s. They are not a cure, but can help with some of the symptoms of the disease. Drugs such as donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon), and galantamine (Reminyl) are used to treat symptoms in Alzheimers disease. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and antipsychotics are used to treat the symptoms of depression, anxiety, agitation, and the hallucinations and delusions that may occur in Alzheimers disease patients