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Dementia alzheimer s disease and brain changes

Alzheimer's versus dementia Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of conditions that involve a loss of cognitive functioning. Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia. It involves plaques and tangles forming in the brain.

Symptoms start gradually and are most likely to include a decline in cognitive function and language ability. Other types of dementia include Huntington's diseaseParkinson's diseaseand Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. People can have more than one type of dementia. Diagnosis There is no single test for Alzheimer's disease, so doctors will look at the signs and symptoms, take a medical history, and rule out other conditions before making a diagnosis. They may also check the person's neurological function, for example, by testing their balance, senses, and reflexes.

Other assessments may include a blood or urine test, a CT or MRI scan of the brain, and screening for depression. Sometimes the symptoms of dementia are related to an inherited disorder such as Huntington's disease, so genetic testing dementia alzheimer s disease and brain changes be done.

After ruling out other possible conditions, the doctor will carry out cognitive and memory tests, to assess the person's ability to think and remember.


Cognitive assessment To confirm a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, the following must be present and severe enough to affect daily activities: Alzheimer's can make it hard to remember things. What is your age? What is the time, to the nearest hour?

What is the year? What is the name of the hospital or town we are in? Can you recognize two people, for example, the doctor, nurse, or carer? What is your date of birth? In which year did a well-known historical event happen? Count backward from 20 down to 1 Repeat an address at the end of the test that I will give you now for example, "42 West Street" A number of assessment tools are available to assess cognitive function.

Genetic testing In some cases, genetic testing may be appropriate. A gene known as the APOE-e4 is associated with higher chances of people over the age of 55 years developing Alzheimer's.

Using this test early could indicate the likelihood of someone having or developing the disease. However, the test is controversial, and the results are not entirely reliable.

In the future, emerging biological tests may make it possible to assess for biomarkers in people who may be at risk of Alzheimer's. Treatment There is no known cure for Alzheimer's.

Dementia and Alzheimer's: What Are the Differences?

The death of brain cells cannot be reversed. However, there are therapeutic interventions that can make it easier for people to live with the disease. According to the Alzheimer's Association, the following are important elements of dementia care: Cholinesterase inhibitors that are approved for symptomatic relief in the U. Donepezil Aricept Rivastigmine Exelon Tacrine Cognex A different kind of drug, memantine Namendaan NMDA receptor antagonist, may also be usedalone or in combination with a cholinesterase inhibitor.

Alzheimer’s Disease 101: How is the Disease Diagnosed and How is it Treated?

Other therapy The need for quality-of-life care becomes more important as the person becomes less able to live independently. Results of a mouse study, published in Nature, suggested in 2016 that It may one day be possible to restore memories for people with early Alzheimer's. Causes and risk factors Like all types of dementia, Alzheimer's is caused by brain cell death. It is a neurodegenerative disease, which means there is progressive brain cell death that happens over time.

In a person with Alzheimer's, the tissue has fewer and fewer nerve cells and connections.

What Does Alzheimer’s Do to the Brain?

Autopsies have shown that the nerve tissue in the brain of a person with Alzheimer's has tiny deposits, known as plaques and tangles, that build up on the tissue. The plaques are found between the dying brain cells, and they are made from a protein known as beta-amyloid. The tangles occur within the nerve cells, and they are made from another protein, called tau. Researchers do not fully understand why these changes occur. Several different factors are believed to be involved.

The Alzheimer's Association has produced a journey of 16 slides that visualizes what happens in the process of developing Alzheimer's disease.

  • It eventually becomes harder to cook dinner, drive through the city, and do business in stores;
  • In the most advanced stage, people with dementia become unable to care for themselves.

You can access it here. Risk factors Unavoidable risk factors for developing the condition include: