Alzheimer's Disease Encyclopedia
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.
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
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
the 7 Stages
Alzheimer association of
America further classifies AD into 7 stages.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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%
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.
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).
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
Of Alzheimer’s Disease Environmental Factors
Research is being conducted
on potential environmental causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
inhibitor Donepezil (Aricept)
Donepezil was approved by
the FDA in 1996. It was the first drug to be referred to as a “second-generation”
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..
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.
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.
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
and Selective Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors For The Treatment Of Alzheimer’s
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
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,
Therapy And Alzheimer’s Disease
Estrogen is thought to protect
the brain by promoting neuronal growth and preventing oxidative damage
Lipid (Cholesterol) Therapy For Alzheimer’s Disease
Attempting the use of cholesterol-lowering
therapies makes sense and some studies have shown promise for treating
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Ashwagandha and Brahmi In The Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease
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
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Herbal supplements that boost memory and protect against Alzheimer's