Alzheimers Disease Facts
Alzheimer’s disease is a cerebral disorder named after a German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer, who was the first to describe it in the year 1906. Researchers have learned a great amount of information and facts about Alzheimer’s disease in last century since Dr. Alzheimer first drew attention on it. Today we are better aware about Alzheimer’s disease and its symptoms and we are much more prepared for its treatment.
Prominent Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
The neurologic progression of Alzheimer’s results in permanent loss of neurons in the brain cells specifically in the cortex and the hippocampus. Some of its clinical characteristics are:
- Progressive impairment in memory
- Inability to make judgments
- Failure at decision-making
- Reduction of orientation to physical surroundings
- Vulnerable language
As the disease progresses, symptoms include some or all of the following:
- Bad temper and aggression
- Constant mood swings
- Long-term memory loss
- General withdrawal of the victim
Facts about Alzheimer’s
That Alzheimer’s can be caused due to injuries to brain or skull is the biggest misconception as Alzheimer’s is a neurologic disorder which is caused due to degeneration of nerve cells. Brain consists millions of nerve cells or nerve tissues which make it perform various functions like, cognition, learning, remembering, stimulation, controlling different body parts and movements etc. Loss of these brain tissues results in improper functioning of the brain.
Alzheimer’s is not a contagious disease. As it is not a viral, bacterial or any organic disease it is non-commutable from a person to another via any external factors. Though, Alzheimer’s can be genetically transferred in a family lineage as an autosomal dominant trait, there is no harm in being around, speaking to, touching or taking care of an Alzheimer’s victim.
Alzheimer’s is not an inevitable sign or result of aging. Though the symptoms of this disease clinically tally with the signs of aging but pathologically in an Alzheimer’s affected brain there is neuronal loss, extra-cellular senile plaques which contain the peptide β amyloid, and neurofibrillary tangles, loss of acetylcholine – a chemical which aids transmission between two nerve cells; which do not occur while normal aging.
Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease. Today Alzheimer’s is one of the leading causes of death in the world. It is predicted that by 2050, 1 out of 80 deaths on our planet will be due to Alzheimer’s disease. The destruction in brain cells ultimately obstructs the basic functioning of brain causing death of the victim.
Causes of Alzheimer’s
The hallmark cause of Alzheimer’s disease the loss of nerve cells in the brain but it is difficult to point definitive reason for this. Occurrences of plagues (clumps) and tangle (knots) in the nervous system degenerates tissues, disrupting the functions of brain. These damaged brain cells or mutations can be transformed via genes causing autosomal dominant trait of Alzheimer’s.
Risk factors for Alzheimer’s
Though there are no specific causes for Alzheimer’s, there are some risk factors which accelerate or increase the probability of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Age is a risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease as the average age of diagnosis has been around 80 years of age. Gender can be a risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease; women are more prone than men to develop the disease probably because life expectancy of women is longer than men. Environmental factors like high exposure to aluminum are under investigation for the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.