Alzheimer's News

Alzheimer’s disease is a disorder that affects the brain, impacting memory and basic thinking skills. It is the most common form of dementia and typically develops in people over the age of 65, though some in their 40s and 50s may develop early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Causes

Researchers believe that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a complex combination of factors related to genetics, environment and lifestyle. It’s also become clear in recent years that the damage in the brain may begin many years before the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s occur.

Some research has noted the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and other circulation problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. It also appears that lifestyle choices that are good for the whole body -- such as eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, avoiding smoking and maintaining a healthy weight -- may play a role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease in some people.

Symptoms

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, so the symptoms start out subtly and gradually worsen over time. It may begin with trouble finding the right word, a decline in reasoning and judgment or issues with vision and spatial awareness, though these are not always related to Alzheimer’s. Over time, people gradually see their memory loss continue and confusion increase. In its end stages, the decline in brain function leads to total loss of communication, and the person is often bedridden as other parts of the body are affected by the loss of brain function.

Treatment

Though there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, it can be treated. Treatment to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s usually involves a combination of medication, therapy and counseling. Support groups are also helpful for people with Alzheimer’s disease and those who care for them. The best results of treatment are usually in those in whom the disease is diagnosed early.

SOURCES: Alzheimer’s Association; U.S. National Institute on Aging

Date Posted
Article Title
3/20/2017
Vitamin E, Selenium Supplements Won't Curb Men's Dementia Risk

Brain expert says it's unlikely that any one nutrient would be a 'silver bullet'

3/7/2017
Study: Gene Test Needed Before Using Alzheimer's Drug 'Off-Label'

Aricept is often prescribed for mild mental impairment without actual approval

3/7/2017
Annual Death Toll From Alzheimer's Nearly Doubles in 15 Years

Price tag hits $259 billion a year, projected to exceed $1 trillion by 2050, report finds

3/2/2017
Immune Disorders Such as MS, Psoriasis May Be Tied to Dementia Risk

Study found 20 percent higher odds for memory-robbing condition, but didn't prove cause and effect

2/23/2017
Could Parkinson's Disease Raise Stroke Risk?

Or is the link the other way around? Study finds a connection, but cause-and-effect isn't clear

2/22/2017
Is Need for More Sleep a Sign of Pending Dementia?

Study finds an association but doesn't prove cause and effect

2/22/2017
Unhealthy in Middle Age, Dementia in Old Age?

Diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking may set you up for Alzheimer's, research suggests

2/16/2017
HRT Won't Lower Women's Alzheimer's Risk, Study Finds

There was some hint that long-term hormone therapy might have a benefit, but results weren't definitive

2/15/2017
Small Study Uncovers Brain Disease in Former Soccer Players

Autopsies show evidence of CTE, the degenerative condition linked to repetitive head trauma

2/1/2017
Can Air Pollution Heighten Alzheimer's Risk?

Fine particles from power plants and cars may be to blame for about 20 percent of cases, study suggests

1/30/2017
Bilingual People May Have an Edge Against Alzheimer's

Study found they did better on memory tests that patients who only spoke one language

1/30/2017
Busy Minds May Be Better at Fighting Dementia

Computer use, crafting, social activities and games all seem to boost brain health, study finds

1/27/2017
Lack of Exercise Might Invite Dementia

Study found being sedentary may make you as vulnerable as those whose genes put them at risk for Alzheimer's

1/25/2017
Fitter Seniors May Have Healthier Brains

Study found link between strong cardiorespiratory system and better memory

1/18/2017
Hospital-Related Delirium May Help Worsen Dementia

But disorienting condition can be treated if recognized, researchers say

1/13/2017
Link Seen Between Concussions and Alzheimer's

But study didn't prove head injuries cause the degenerative brain disease

1/6/2017
Want a Sharper Brain as You Age? Volunteer!

Study finds slight improvement in thinking and memory for civically minded

1/5/2017
Does Living Near Major Roads Boost Dementia Risk?

Study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, but risk rose as proximity to traffic increased, researchers report

12/30/2016
Pot May Restrict Blood Flow to Brain: Study

It's too early to say if this contributes to mental decline, Alzheimer's expert says

12/27/2016
Antipsychotic Drugs May Up Risk of Early Death in Alzheimer's Patients

Increased odds were nearly doubled if two antipsychotic medications were taken, study says

12/13/2016
Test Predicting Alzheimer's Would Be Welcome, Survey Finds

3 out of 4 seniors said they'd want to know

12/12/2016
Beta Blockers May Not Be Best Heart Drugs for Dementia Patients

In this group, use of the meds after a heart attack compromised quality of life, study finds

12/12/2016
Whether Statins Cut Alzheimer's Risk May Depend on Gender, Race

Type of statin used also made a difference in study, but black men did not see any benefits

12/12/2016
Was Football Safer Back in the Day?

Study found those who played in high school in 1950s and '60s don't face increased risk of dementia

12/8/2016
Alzheimer's Patients' Use of Painkilling Patches Cause for Concern

Researchers worried about long-term use together with other medications that cause drowsiness

11/30/2016
Aerobic Exercise May Help Guard Against Dementia

Study found seniors with mild cognitive impairment saw gains in thinking, memory skills after six months of workouts

11/28/2016
Alzheimer's Protein Plaques May Also Harm the Heart

Deposits can cause patients' heart muscle to stiffen, keeping it from pumping properly, study suggests

11/21/2016
Can Occupational Therapy Slow Alzheimer's Decline?

Patients, caregivers may reap some benefits, but study sees no effect on everyday functioning

11/21/2016
Fewer Americans Suffering From Dementia, Study Finds

Rates have dropped over last decade, and better education might be one reason why

11/16/2016
Poor Sense of Smell May Signal Alzheimer's Risk

Testing looks for decreased olfactory sense, combined with thinking, memory troubles

11/14/2016
Some Elderly With Alzheimer's Brain Plaques Stay Sharp

Study finding raises question of whether something protected their brains

11/8/2016
Brain Scans May Improve Dementia Diagnosis, Treatment

People with Lewy body dementia generally don't lose volume in the hippocampus, study shows

11/2/2016
Could Loneliness Be an Early Sign of Alzheimer's?

People with 'biomarkers' for the brain disease were more likely to feel socially detached, study finds

10/13/2016
Can Hormonal Rx for Prostate Cancer Raise Dementia Risk?

Study found chances doubled, but did not prove androgen deprivation caused damage to brain

10/11/2016
Sudden Drops in Blood Pressure Tied to Higher Odds for Dementia

Dizziness, faintness on standing could be sign of danger to brain, but study couldn't prove cause and effect

10/10/2016
Animal Study Hints at Gene Therapy's Possible Promise for Alzheimer's

But the research is very preliminary and much work remains to be done, U.K. researchers say

10/10/2016
High Blood Pressure May Hike Dementia Risk

New statement from American Heart Association warns of link

10/10/2016
Study Finds Fault With ICU Treatment of Dementia Patients

Hospitals put too many on ventilators, adding to their suffering and treatment costs, researchers say

10/5/2016
Women's Memory Advantage Might Skew Alzheimer's Diagnosis

Women tend to hold on to better verbal memory skills as they age compared to men, study finds

8/18/2016
Preventing Alzheimer's Disease

Diet and exercise can reduce toxic protein buildup of Alzheimer's, study finds

8/17/2016
Healthy Diet, Exercise May Help Keep Alzheimer's at Bay

Study finds people who are active and eat well have fewer brain effects linked to the disease

8/16/2016
Fewer Advanced Alzheimer's Patients on Feeding Tubes

Practice dropped by half over past 15 years, study reports

8/5/2016
Underweight Seniors May Have Added Alzheimer's Risk

Study links lower body weight to increased amounts of disease-causing plaque in the brain

8/5/2016
Acupuncture May Slow Pre-Dementia Memory Loss: Study

However, definitive evidence remains lacking, experts say

7/28/2016
Could Slight Brain Zap During Sleep Boost Memory?

Small study says yes, for a certain type of recognition

7/28/2016
Deep Brain Stimulation Tested for Early Alzheimer's

Although treatment seems safe, benefit isn't yet clear

7/26/2016
2 in 10 Alzheimer's Cases May Be Misdiagnosed

Missed disease identification seems more likely in men, who may develop thinking problems earlier

7/25/2016
1 in 10 Alzheimer's Patients at Risk for Avoidable Hospital Stays

Study suggests need for better management of other health problems

7/25/2016
Work, Lifestyle and Dementia Risk

Your education, your job and your lifestyle can all affect your Alzheimer's risk, according to new research.

7/25/2016
Behavior Changes May Be First Signs of Alzheimer's

Researchers have developed a checklist to help spot those at potential risk