Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, caused by deficiency of neuron’s function.
In this disease, the neurons can’t transmit the electrical or chemical signals from one neuron to another due to different causes and triggers.
This type of disease affects the old age especially the age of 65 and older.
There were approximately 50 million people worldwide diagnosed by dementia, which is considered as the main symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and the other neurological diseases.
Alzheimer’s disease is a slowly progressive disease that can cause the shrinkage of brain size and loss the ability of normal life.
Pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease:
Alzheimer’s disease has been identified as a proteopathy ( diseases are caused by certain types of proteins).
The major cause of this disease is called amyloid beta protein (Aβ), this protein was found in a different biological form or structurally abnormal for the brain cells of patients with AD.
Then these particles of proteins accumulate in the synapse and inside the neurological cell itself, making groups of plaques and tangles that deposit inside the cells and grey matter of the brain.
These abnormal structural proteins can block the chemical or neurological signals between the neurons and the target cells,
causing the loss of neurological function and the degeneration of the brain cortex.
In addition, neurological dysfunction of the cells can promote the shrinkage of the neurons and finally decrease the brain size of the patients diagnosed by AD in comparison with normal adults.
symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:
The main symptom or as called key symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss.
Because of degeneration of the neurological cells, the brain cells lose their function and ability to perform the main function stored in the patient’s memory.
The brain becomes unable to perform the orders or the functions connected to thinking, speaking or memory.
they may repeat questions or speech over and over.
forget the recent occurrences and remember the older ones.
forget the names of family members and relatives.
forget the appointments and conversations.
get lost in familiar places.
The types of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease according to progression stage:
First stage of Alzheimer’s disease:
It’s called Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), in this stage the patient showed mild memory especially affecting the daily activities.
the patients can’t perform their daily routines individually, as they haven’t the ability of thinking, planning or making the decisions.
They also have a type of Depression and Apathy ( loss of feeling, emotion and concern), loss of meanings and relationships can be observed.
Early stage of Alzheimer’s disease:
At this stage of disease the patients suffer from learning and educational impairment.
they can’t remember how to do some regular daily habits for example, (they can’t remember how to use a fork to eat or use a cup to drink).
they can’t remember the language memory, including the speaking and word fluency for written and oral language.
they find difficulty in recognition with people through spoken and visual communication.
Middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease:
At this stage the symptoms worsen, the patients can’t recognize the relatives or other people, can’t speak or understand the conversations or situations.
during this phase, the patients lose their daily activities completely, they become reliable on other family members or caregivers.
other neuropsychiatric disorders may occur, causing aggressive and irritable behaviour of the patients.
Late stage of Alzheimer’s disease:
At this stage the patients are completely dependent on caregivers, can’t perform any activities without help.
they can’t eat, drink or speak, and lose their ability to move or do daily activities.
These neuropsychiatric disturbances progress the symptoms of Apathy and showing more aggressive and violent behavior among AD patients.
These symptoms above can be observed by family members and monitored by the diagnosis and treatment plan prescribed.
Risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease:
The most common risk factor of AD is the age of 65 and older.
In United States studies about Alzheimer’s disease, there was found that the number of cases diagnosed by this disease is increasing according to older age.
Family history and genetic factory:
scientifically and medically, the reason or the trigger of this disease is not known.
It’s just the mechanism or pathophysiology which is concerned with the accumulation of plaques of amyloid beta proteins or the tangles of tau proteins among the synapses and inside the neurons.
but the trigger for deterioration or biochemical degeneration of the protein structure is not not clarified obviously.
researchers and scientists found that there is a role for the genetics or genetic factor among the cases.
it was found that the person with family history is more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease than the normal one with clear family history.
Mild cognitive impairment:
It’s a slight decrease in memory of the patient however he is still able to perform his activities individually.
He can speak, move and recognize the conversations and situations without help.
but at the progressive phase of that disease, the patient can suffer from dementia which is a trigger factor of Alzheimer’s disease.
it’s found that people who have head trauma are more susceptible to AD disease.
Alcohol consumption and smoking:
According to the studies, it’s found that alcohol intake or smoking increases the neurological disturbance in brain cells, causing dementia the trigger cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
The gases or particles suspended in air through the polluted areas may cause neurological side effects in brain cells for a long time of exposure.
that can cause the triggers of AD or dementia for older patients.
Treatment and prevention:
This type of disease can’t be treated or prevented, but scientists and doctors prescribe a healthy lifestyle for the patients to prevent its progression over years and years.
for older people, the management of other diseases can reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
The doctors help them through treatment plans, optimizing the good habits and healthy lifestyle,
for keeping them away from the trigger factors of dementia or AD and by performing and training their minds and activities during mental exercise.