ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE Definition Alzheimer's disease is progressive, degenerative disease which affects the brain and its intellectual functions.
The cause is not know, but as a result of this disease nerve cells in the brain are destroyed and neurotransmitters decrease; therefore Alzheimer's Disease cause both structural and chemical changes in the brain. It many have early onset - if symptoms appear before age 60- or late onset- if symptoms appear after age 60. Risk factors Old age, low educational level. Symptoms In the early stages, symptoms are rather mild. People with Alzheimer's disease may repeat sentences frequently, get lost on familiar routes have difficulty finding names and experience personality changes.
In a more advanced stage, symptoms are more serious. They may include memory loss, especially of recent events, losing awareness of who they are, loss of ability to recognise objects and people (agnosia), loss of language ability (aphasia), loss of ability to carry out learned body movements like getting dressed and use tools such as a toothbrush (apraxia), violent behaviour and depression. In sever Alzheimer's disease sufferers cannot look after themselves, therefore they can no longer live without assistance. Prognosis Total disability. Treatment There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease yet. Currently the progression of the disease can be slowed but not stopped with drug treatment which affects the level of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) in the brain and improve the blood flow to the brain Prevention There is no proven way to prevent Alzheimer's disease.