Alzheimer’s disease Overview
Alzheimer’s disease is a physical illness which attacks the brain resulting in impaired memory, thinking and behaviour. The disease is named after the German physician, Alois Alzheimer who, in 1907, first described it.
As brain cells die, the substance of the brain shrinks. Abnormal material develope as “tangles” in the centre of the brain cells and “plaques” outside the brain cells, disrupting messages within the brain, damaging connections between brain cells. This leads to the eventual death of the brain cells and prevents the recall of information. Read more about Causes of Alzheimer’s disease
Memory of recent events is the first to be affected, but as the disease progresses, longterm memory is also lost. The disease also affects many of the brain’s other functions and consequently, many other aspects of behaviour are disturbed.
What are the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer?
In the early stages the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can be very subtle. However, it often begins with lapses in memory and difficulty in finding the right words for everyday objects.
Other symptoms may include:
Persistent and frequent memory difficulties, especially of recent events
Vagueness in everyday conversation
Apparent loss of enthusiasm for previously enjoyed activities
Taking longer to do routine tasks
Forgetting well-known people or places
Inability to process questions and instructions
Deterioration of social skills
Symptoms vary and the disease progresses at a different pace according to the individual and the areas of the brain affected. Read more about the signs of the alzheimer’s disease.
Today there is the real possibility that we can reduce our risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease by paying attention to two recent and very divergent findings. The first deals with technology and the second with good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Read more about How to reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
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