What is Alzheimer′s disease and how it is treated?

Alzheimer's disease; symptoms and treatment

Alzheimer's disease is named after the German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer, who first described this disorder. At first he considered it a psychological condition that occurs in young people. Later it was found that the disease occurs among other age groups as a consequence of genetic disorders.

Senile dementia which is the most popular name of this disorder is present in both sexes. However, sometimes it is more common in women than in male population, and is increasingly present among the youth people.

What causes that the first symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and how are they treated, learn below.

What is Alzheimer's and how is it distinctive from other disorders? 

Alzheimer's disease is very specific. It gradually destroys nerve cells and the connections between them in the cortex. Actually it comes to the formation of deposits the so called amyloid proteins in the brain, and they disturb the signal transmission.

It generally occurs in people who are older than 65, and those with 90 years of age who suffer in 50 percent of cases. Which is an extremely high percentage. This is not a natural part of aging, but the risk of its occurrence increases with years.

The disease eventually leads to difficult communication, speech becomes impaired and there are less meaningful sentences pronounced, and of course the general understanding fades. There are changes in behavior, sufferers become uninterested and often aggressive. So to speak, they lose the initiative and increasingly rely on another person in performing usual activities.
Suppose also that the Alzheimer's disease in young adults is more frequently diagnosed. However, there are some important prerequisites for it. So, for example, people with Down syndrome have an increased risk of its occurrence. It is significantly less frequent in younger people bellow fifty years of age.

It can be successfully treated in the early stages, so early detection and timely treatment is the key point.

What are the possible causes for the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease?

The causes of the disorder are not reliably identified. It is known that women are affected more often than men. It is thought that there are several factors that cause this disorder.

The risk is higher in people who suffer from arthritis, poor eyesight and those prone to frequent bone fractures. Then other diseases also affect the development of dementia, such as depression, hypertension, and adverse effects on man from the outside.

Of course, poor diet and lack of physical activity affect both the general health and brain function. Processed foods are also included, then the ones with a lot of sugar, rich in bad fats (trans fatty acids).

A lack of magnesium, other minerals and vitamins are important for the proper functioning of the body which prevents the development of dementia.

To what extent genetics have a role in it?

Is Alzheimer's disease hereditary is the usually the first question that comes to mind. It is believed that about 70 percent of the risk is caused by genetic factors and involves many genes. If someone in the immediate family has had it, there is a greater chance of illness.

Some scientists claim that Alzheimer's disease may occur as a result of infection. In the experiments on mice brain tissue of diseased people was implanted into them. It was later spotted that the brain damage characteristic of this disease developed. Over time, it spreads to the whole brain. For those who have been implanted with a tissue of healthy individuals have not developed any changes.

Others suggest that Alzheimer's disease is due to a huge amount of microorganisms in the body. These micro-organisms have a very acidic pH, so they disrupt the system of sending and receiving impulses in the brain.

What else can cause senile dementia?

Potential cause can also be obesity. Studies in mice demonstrated that the consumption of food with a lot of fat causes deformation activity of neuronal cells.

While other research analyzed brain in 8500 people with dementia, older than 50 years. It was found that over 65 percent of them have an increased body weight. People of middle age have increased the risk by as much as 80 percent if you have a large excess of fat.

Alzheimer's disease can be caused by traumatic brain damage, which increases the likelihood of the disease. In the veterans with brain damage, dementia occurred twice as often. It was recorded at 15.3 percent of cases, while in others it was 6.8 percent.

Social isolation and lack of personal contact also increases the risk. So lonely people are twice as likely to develop this disorder compared to people who have partners.

Alzheimer's disease is exacerbated by long term sleep deprivation. In an experiment with mice, those who had been sleep deprived had 25% higher levels of harmful proteins in the brain.

Heavy metals boost your chance of illness

The causes of Alzheimer's can also be heavy metals that can accumulate during life in the body and have a detrimental effect.
  • Mercury, which can be found in amalgam fillings, used in fish and shellfish which is in the form of methyl mercury, vaccines.
  • Aluminum of immunization, in some drugs and chemicals such as aspirin and Tylenol.
  • Lead is present in chocolate, other heavy metals can flow from well water.

So factors from the environment can cause the accumulation of harmful substances in the body. They lead to disorders of organs, including the brain.

Alzheimer's disease first symptoms 

It was found that as many as 20 years before the first symptoms appear there are high levels of the so-called astrocytes in the brain. They cause inflammation specific to Alzheimer's. These are the first possible indicators of the disease.

If the Alzheimer's disease first symptoms appear gradually during the period of several years. They vary in individuals, but generally forgetfulness and mild confusion appears first. Then, impaired short-term memory, loss of things around the house, repetition, poor organization.

People are without orientation in time and space, and they have problems with abstract thinking. There is difficulty in performing daily activities and they do not know how to take care of themselves. An imbalance and unstable movement are only one of the problems. In the final stages the patient become completely bedridden.

Time communication is becoming increasingly difficult, there is a problem in finding the appropriate words. Performing and psychological changes, behavior disorders, irritability and aggressiveness occurs. Finally with such patients there is a withdrawal from social activities, changing of the mood, and even the personality.

How to distinguish the three stages of the disease

When it comes to Alzheimer's disease diagnosis is established on the basis of history and information from people close to the patient. First, by means of laboratory analyzes we exclude other causes of dementia.

Various tests of the metabolism of the brain, cerebral blood flow, as well as psychological tests are done. But with certainty it can be established only after examination of brain tissue.

The course of senile dementia are generally roughly divided in three phases.
  1. In the first notes there is a short-term memory impairment, weight perform usual activities, weakening orientation in time and space, but also difficulty in finding the words to communicate.
  2. In the middle stages it is difficult to recall previously memorized things, there is difficulty in performing routine tasks. Disorientation in time and space, there are problems, with speech and suspiciousness.
  3. In the last phase the speech is already severely disrupted, non-recognition of the other person, not even the closest ones. There is the inability of independent taking care of yourself, problems with swallowing and control of urination and stool.

How the test looks like? 

Alzheimer test includes physical examination, heart rate, temperature, blood pressure. If necessary, samples of blood and urine are taken.

The neurological exam is also performed, including checking muscle tone, speech and sensation. Additionally tests of mental state, with issues of everyday life are performed.

Determined is the short and long term memory, orientation in place and time. For the diagnosis magnetic resonance imaging can be used.

The treatment with medication slows the rapid development of the disease

The cure for Alzheimer's disease does not exist, but with therapy it can successfully slow the progression of the disease and alleviate the symptoms. Patients receive the so-called choline esterase inhibitors acetyl (donepezil, rivastigmine) that increase the concentration of acetylcholine. These therapies are effective in the early and middle stages.

While in the later stage used is NMDA that influences the regulation of functions in the brain. If necessary, the applied therapy is antidepressants and neuroleptics. But are not recommended because they provide little benefit and increases the risk of premature death.

Other methods of treatment are based on the manipulation of the process of creating amyloid. Drugs actually block the action of enzymes that participate in the formation of amyloid protein and stop creating them.

While others considered that the solution is in strengthening the immunity. Microglia cells are responsible for cleaning the brain from viruses and bacteria. However, if they fail to do their job fully, the death of nerve cells occurs. In later years, when the Alzheimer's disease is the most common, their work is further disrupted by protein EP2. Blocking of this protein takes place smoothly, and prevents the occurrence of dementia.

Scientists from the University of California have managed to create a model disease in laboratory conditions. It will continue to allow easier access to what is happening in the neurons that are affected by the Alzheimer's disease. The best effects are achieved in the treatment in the early stage.

Nutrition with Alzheimer's disease is the key

A healthy and varied food for the brain and memory, as well as regular balanced meals reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Positive influence on it have a variety of herbal mixture, supplements that have minerals (iodine, zinc). Natural sources include eggs, fish, milk, beans, lentils, nuts, various seeds, raw food and green vegetables. In addition, dark fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, blackberries, broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, kale, red cabbage, sweet potatoes.

Vitamin C is very important, and most often it can be found in fresh fruits such as oranges, pomegranates, strawberries, kiwi. But also vegetables such as broccoli, peppers, cabbage, radish and green leafy vegetables.

Then there is the B vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and B6. Vitamin B6 is the most represented in the integral bread, beansprouts, mackerel, pepper, beans and calf liver. Vitamin B12 in sauerkraut, vegetables, pickled, meat, sea salmon, mackerel, veal kidneys and pork liver.

Also for Alzheimer’s disease prevention is very important. You can do mental exercises by playing various board games, more reading, solving crossword puzzles. With these activities you keep the brain in shape, and also slow down memory loss.

Do not forget turmeric and green tea

We should not forget the powerful turmeric. The yellowish-orange powder strengthens brain cells. On the other hand it improves its function and protects it.

Consuming green tea proved to be a good prevention. Indian saffron contains large amounts of antioxidants, and therefore it is effective in protecting brain function.

Similarly, cayenne pepper improves blood flow to the brain 4 times better than compositions based on ginkgo. Improves blood circulation, purifies the blood and suppresses free radicals.

In addition, folic acid plays an important role in cleaning garbage from the cells, and beta-1,3D glycan has significance in boosting immunity.

It is important to have sufficient intake of fluids, especially regular tea 1-3 cups per day. It is significant in older age, because it protects the brain from toxins and maintains the memory.

It is important to treat the associated disease such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Definitely avoid large amounts of sugar, products, and cigarette smoking that damage the brain.

The best natural medicines for Alzheimer's disease

Various studies around the world have been done, related to the treatment and prevention of age-related dementia. Here are some experience and facts.

Coconut oil slows down the development of the disease

Several studies have shown that treatment of Alzheimer's disease with coconut oil has undeniable results. It is claimed that it supplies the brain with energy from ketones which can prevent cell death and stop the progression of this disorder.

The body produces ketones when consuming medium-fats, and coconut oil consists precisely of it. It is necessary to use a total of 4 teaspoons a day. This is also a great prevention for the whole range of other diseases.

Unavoidable curcuma

As we have already mentioned this Indian spice is necessary to be included in the diet. Feel free to add it in soups, stews and you will do a lot for your health.

Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which protects the brain from damage giving rise to Alzheimer's disease. In India, the percentage of patients is four times lower than in the US, thanks to the great use of this spices in food.

Various mixtures of turmeric with other herbs or milk are beneficial due to its pronounced anti-inflammatory properties.

Do you consume enough of vitamin D?

A survey on 1,658 people who are not sick, aged 65 years and older was carried and they, divided into two groups. Those with reduced daily intake of vitamin D had a 53 percent greater chance of becoming ill. Therefore, it is extremely important to consume foods and supplements containing it.

B complex vitamins have a beneficial effect on brain functions, such as lowering the homocysteine by ​​29 %. It is responsible for reducing the unit function of the brain associated with senile dementia.

The subjects who drank a combination of B vitamins slowed the progress of Alzheimer's disease, compared to those who were given placebos.

Black coffee helps

Believe it or not drinking three cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of dementia! The research was conducted on 124 people with mild difficulties ages 65-88 years.

Alzheimer's disease did not manifested further progress in subjects with the level of caffeine in the blood above 1200ng / ml. This was confirmed even after the next two to four years. It does not mean that drinking black coffee protects against dementia, but significantly reduces the risk of its development.

What is the mortality rate in Alzheimer's?

One problem for Alzheimer's, is that the first symptoms are often ignored. People are not sufficiently informed, both retail and the work of general practitioners. Only less than 50 percent of patients with this disease in general are further addressed neurologist and psychiatrist.

Alzheimer’s disease takes the fourth place among the causes of death in developed countries. Immediately after cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke.

There is a rapid increase in the number of patients around the world, in 2010 it was between 21-35 million. Compared to last century now this figure is almost twice as high. Only in Europe in 2012 there were approximately 500,000 patients suffering from Alzheimer's and this number is constantly growing. It is estimated that in the world by the year 2050 there will be around 100 million people.

Other useful advice for the end

Accommodating housing and daily activities, helps the patients take care of themselves. This helps the self-esteem and belief in their own abilities. It is certainly important to cultivate social contacts and previous activities.

When it comes to Alzheimer's duration depends of course on the age of the patient and the overall physical health. With deteriorating, slowly the person withdraws from society or the family. The gradual loss of bodily functions leads to death.

Cancer patients after being diagnosed live on average 7-10 years. In the early stages of timely and adequately treatment they can live up to 20 years.

On this occasion we recommend our article on essential tremor.