Alzheimer's Disease Encyclopedia



What is Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's is basically a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.

What is Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease are they the Same or Different?
Difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s is similar to the difference between a vehicle and a car. All cars are vehicles but not vehicles are cars. AD is the most common form of dementia, occurring about 85% of the time. However there are other forms of dementia l

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease?
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is the earliest stage of AD. It is also known as pre-clinical stage

Alzheimer's the 7 Stages
Alzheimer association of America further classifies AD into 7 stages.

How death occurs in an Alzheimer's Patient?
Alzheimer’s is a life shortening disease but surprisingly it is not Alzheimer’s disease that causes death but other secondary complications due to the disease.

History of Alzheimer's Disease
Though we are increasingly hearing about AD of late. It is not a new modern day disease. Dementing illnesses have been a part of the human condition since the beginning of time. References to dementing illnesses go back over three thousand years.

Who is Doctor Alois Alzheimer?
The most modern study on Alzheimer’s disease was done by a German neuropathologist and psychiatrist named Alois Alzheimer. 
Dr. Alois Alzheimer was born on June 14, 1864, in Bavaria modern day Germany.

Who is at the Risk of getting Alzhemier's disease?
With the exception of early-onset Alzheimer’s (which accounts for 5 percent of the cases), this is a disease of advancing age—all elderly  people are susceptible to it. After age comes genetics

The Impact of Alzheimer's Disease on Society
Alzheimer’s disease not only affects the patients but also the patient’s family. Almost one out of three households in the United States is affected by AD. A little over half of the care provided to AD patients is at home; The average cost per patient from the onset of symptoms until death is about $174,000. Over half of the nursing home residents in the United States have AD or some other form of dementia

Alzheimer's Disease the Disease of The Brain
The changes that occur in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease provide some background to the cause of  this disease. It is important to keep in mind that there is currently no definitive explanation as to why this disease process begins.

Four Particular Characteristics That Define Alzheimer’s Disease
Dr. Alois Alzheimer first discovered the “plaques and tangles” in the brain, but since then, researchers have found other changes that occur
in the Alzheimer’s brain.

Causes of Alzheimer's Disease  Plaques and Tangles Hypothesis
Neuritic plaques (NP) and neurofibrillary tangles (NT) are present in the AD brain. Scientists, however, do not know if they occur primarily
because of the loss or death of neurons or if they occur secondarily as a result of the Alzheimer’s disease process.

Causes Of Alzheimer's Disease  Oxidation
Oxidation is known to play a role in many serious diseases, including coronary artery disease and cancers, and experts believe it may also contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

Causes of Alzheimer's Disease Cholinergic Hypothesis
There are neurons that are vital to memory and cognition called cholinergic neurons. These neurons use acetylcholine (ACh), a chemical transmitter, to stay vital. In normal aging, ACh decreases, causing short-term memory lapses. In Alzheimer’s Disease, the decline in ACh can be around 90%

Causes of Alzheimer's Disease Monoamine Oxidase Hypothesis
It is thought that an increased amount of MAO-B is involved in Alzheimer’s and is also associated with a rise in oxidative stress and oxygen free radicals.

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease Role of Genetics
Although Alzheimer’s disease appears to have no specific or known cause, some cases may be genetic (inherited).

Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease Estrogen Loss Hypothesis
Laboratory studies have suggested that estrogen may block the production of beta-amyloid, the substance responsible for the plaque formation in AD brains

Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease  Environmental Factors
Research is being conducted on potential environmental causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

How To Conclusive Diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease
The only absolute confirmation of AD is to observe pathological changes in brain tissue. This can only be accomplished at autopsy.

Why Women are at Higher Risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease?
More women than men have Alzheimer's and other dementia one reason commonly stated for this is that women live longer than men on an average. Hence their longer life expectancy increases the time during which they could develop Alzheimer's or other dementia. The 2008 estimate is that 3.4 million women and 1.7 million men aged 65 and older have dementia in US alone.

Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease Based On Cholinergic Hypothesis
The cholinergic hypothesis for Alzheimer’s disease led to the evaluation of methods to treat the cholinergic deficit in AD. That is, treatments
that slow the decrease in the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh), which is vital to the neurons for memory and cognition.

How Cholinesterase Inhibitors Work
The one method that has been the most successful to date in the traetyment of Alzheimer's disease are the Cholinesterase Inhibitors. They inhibit the enzyme (proteins that facilitate biochemical reactions) that breaks down acetylcholine. This leads to enhancement of cholinergic transmission.

Cholinesterase Inhibitor Tacrine Cognex
Tacrine was the first cholinesterase inhibitor approved by the FDA (in 1993) for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. It inhibits both AChE and BChE, with slightly more inhibition of BChE. 

Cholinesterase inhibitor Donepezil (Aricept)
Donepezil was approved by the FDA in 1996. It was the first drug to be referred to as a “second-generation” cholinesterase inhibitor.

Cholinesterase Inhibitor Rivastigmine Exelon
Rivastigmine was approved for use in the United States in 2000. Since it has a half-life of 10 hours, it allows for twice a day dosing.  Rivastigmine is known to have equal affinity (natural attraction) to inhibit AChE and BChE.. 

Cholinesterase Inhibitor Galantamine Razadyne
Galantamine has been around for quite some time—it was first extracted from the European daffodil in the early 1950s.
Since then, it has been made in the laboratory as galantamine hydrobromide and used all over the world as therapy for
various neurological disorders. 

Which Medication To Choose For Alzheimer’s Disease
There have been no trials to date that compare one cholinesterase inhibitor to another. Therefore, the initial medication is based on the individual patient. For example, a person who has minimal caregiver options may do better on donepezil or galantamine extended-release, since they are taken once daily.

Memantine The Novel Class Of Alzheimer’s Disease Medication
Memantine is the first in a novel class of Alzheimer's disease medications acting on the glutamatergic system by blocking NMDA receptors. It was first synthesized by Eli Lilly and Company in 1968. Memantine is marketed under the brands Axura and Akatinol by Merz, Namenda by Forest, Ebixa and Abixa by Lundbeck and Memox by Unipharm. Memantine has been shown to have a modest effect in moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease. 

Antioxidants and Selective Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors For The Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Antioxidants have been studied as possible preventatives for AD and both vitamin E and C have been investigated. Vitamin E has shown some positive effects but results remain controversial. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are consistently studied to determine their role in Alzheimer’s treatment. These are substances that inhibit the enzyme monoamine oxidase. Monoamine oxidase (MAO) is an enzyme that breaks down certain neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

Anti Inflammatory Agents For The Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Observational studies have shown that groups of people who take large doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for such conditions as
arthritis have a reduced likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease. NSAIDs include aspirin and aspirin-like compounds that are generally used to treat pain, inflammation, and fever

Estrogen Therapy And Alzheimer’s Disease
Estrogen is thought to protect the brain by promoting neuronal growth and preventing oxidative damage

Anti Lipid (Cholesterol) Therapy For Alzheimer’s Disease
Attempting the use of cholesterol-lowering therapies makes sense and some studies have shown promise for treating Alzheimer’s Disease.

Nerve Growth Factors  Gene Therapy Treatment For Alzheimer’s Disease
Nerve growth factors are a type of gene therapy being investigated for treating Alzheimer’s. They are proteins that regulate nerve cell maturation, survival, and repair.

Anti Amyloid Therapies For Alzheimer’s Disease
A theory that has generated a lot of discussion is the “amyloid hypothesis.” Proponents of the amyloid hypothesis see production and aggregation of beta-amyloid as the key event in the nerve cell disruption and destruction seen in Alzheimer’s disease.

Stem Cells In The Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Stem cells can be described as the body’s self-repair kit: they have the potential to develop into many different cell types in the body.

Are There Things You Can Do To Prevent Getting Alzheimer’s
There have been many studies and attempts to identify things that can protect us from developing Alzheimer’s. The most encouraging data supports decreasing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s by combating the avoidable contributing factors: treating hypertension and diabetes,

Ginkgo Biloba In Alzheimer’s Disease And Its Effect On Cognitive Functioning
Charles Darwin referred to Ginkgo biloba as a “living fossil.”. Ginkgo Blioba is an herbal extract that has been claimed to improve memory.  It is considered an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and an agent to improve blood flow,. Smaller trials have shown some improvement in cognition and social behaviors.

Shilajit Ashwagandha  and Brahmi In The Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease
 International Center for Biomedicine (ICC) has found that - Fulvic acid inhibits aggregation and promotes disassembly of tau fibrils associated with Alzheimer's disease. Shilajit contains 60% Fulvic acid in natural form. Ashwagandha is known botanicaly as Withania somnifera. It has proven memory boosting effects and is known to enhance mental stamina. It is considered to be superior to Ginkgo Biloba in it's memory boosting effects. Brahmi is known botanicaly as Bacopa monnieri. Brahmi significantly improves the cognitive ability including an accelerated rate of learning and enhanced memory

Can Antioxidants Help Treating Preventing Alzheimer’s
Antioxidants—that can bind free radicals and make them stable might be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. Numerous studies have been
done looking at ascorbic acid (vitamin C), retinol (vitamin A), and tocopherol (vitamin E).

Does Massage Therapy Have Any Effect On Alzheimer’s Patients
Massage therapy for a person with dementia can be a useful treatment,especially if it is something the Alzheimer's disease patient enjoys. Look for benefits such as an increased sense of well-being and calmness, as well as improved circulation and muscle-tone maintenance.

Benefits Of Aromatherapy For Alzheimer’s Disease
Use of aromatherapy for Alzheimer’s disease is now becoming increasingly popular. It is a complementary therapy to improve the quality of life of Alzheimer’s patients. 

Music Therapy In Alzheimer’s And Dementia Care
A number of studies have been done using music therapy with people who have Alzheimer’s. Possible benefits include an enhanced sense of relaxation and well-being, improved sleep, and a decrease in behavioral problems.

The Use Of Reminiscence Therapy In Patients With Alzheimer’s Disease
Because old memories may still be present and accessible, reminiscence therapy can be an enjoyable activity for someone with dementia; it can comfort them and give them a feeling of control over their minds.

Art Therapy For Alzheimer’s Patients
For many Alzheimer’s patients creating art is a calming process that also provides the person with a sense of accomplishment.

Exercise Can Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease Or Decrease Its Severity
Studies comparing the rates of dementia in people who walk or exercise regularly and people who don’t find decreased rates of dementia in the group that exercises. There was markedly lower rates of dementia or at least decrease in severity.

Can Drinking Red Wine Prevent Alzheimer’s
There have been studies in France and New York looking at regular drinkers of moderate amounts of red wine (two to four standard
glasses a day).  Both these studies have shown decreased rates of developing dementia in the wine drinkers.
 
 

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Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease  Oxidation      |     Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease  Cholinergic Hypothesis      |        Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease -  Monoamine Oxidase Hypothesis 
Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease Role Of Genetics   |    Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease Estrogen Loss Hypothesis      |      Causes Of Alzheimer’s Disease  Environmental Factors        | 
How To Conclusive Diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease    |   Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease Based On Cholinergic Hypothesis    |         How Cholinesterase Inhibitors Work       | 
Cholinesterase Inhibitor-  Tacrine(Cognex)    |   Cholinesterase Inhibitor  Donepezil Aricept       |        Cholinesterase Inhibitor  Rivastigmine(Exelon)      |
Cholinesterase Inhibitor  Galantamine (Razadyne)      |         Which Medication To Choose For Alzheimer’s Disease      |          Memantine The Novel Class Of Alzheimer’s Disease medicine        | 
Antioxidants and MAOInhibitors For The Treatment Of AD         |         Anti Inflammatory Agents For The Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease     |       Estrogen Therapy And Alzheimer’s Disease      | 
Anti Lipid (Cholesterol) Therapy For Alzheimer’s Disease      |        Nerve Growth Factors  Gene Therapy Treatment For Alzheimer’s Disease      |        Anti Amyloid Therapies For Alzheimer’s Disease
Stem Cells In The Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease      |        Are There Things You Can Do To Prevent Getting Alzheimer’s     |        Ginkgo  Biloba In Alzheimer’s Disease      | 
Shilajit, Ashwagandha and Brahmi In the Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease      |        Can Antioxidants Help Treating Preventing Alzheimer’s     |        Massage Therapy for Alzheimer’s Patients     | 
Benefits Of Aromatherapy For Alzheimer’s Disease     |      Music Therapy In Alzheimer’s And Dementia Care     |      The Use Of Reminiscence Therapy In Patients With Alzheimer’s Disease
Art Therapy For Alzheimer’s Patients      |      Exercise Can Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease Or Decrease Its Severity      |        Can Drinking Red Wine Prevent Alzheimer’s
 Women are at Higher Risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease

 

 Andy Kahn