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
7/20/2017
Targeting 9 Risk Factors Could Prevent 1 in 3 Dementia Cases: Study

Reducing mid-life hearing loss might make the biggest difference

7/18/2017
Dozens of Potential Alzheimer's Meds in the Pipeline

Last new drug for the memory-robbing disease was introduced in the United States in 2003

7/18/2017
Special Training Plus Medication Might Help People With Advanced Alzheimer's

Skills lost, such as dressing or bathing, can potentially be relearned, small study suggests

7/18/2017
Can Poor Sleep Boost Odds for Alzheimer's?

Studies found sleep apnea tied to higher levels of tell-tale plaques, proteins in brain

7/17/2017
Can Daily Crossword Protect You From Dementia?

Regular puzzlers score better on tests of mental function, study finds

7/17/2017
A Healthy Diet May Help Ward Off Dementia

New studies suggest that, yes, eating right could boost your brain function

7/13/2017
Boxers, MMA Fighters May Face Long-Term Harm to Brain: Study

Researchers find head injuries from fighting cause brain changes that might spur troubles later in life

7/10/2017
How Poor Sleep Might Raise Odds for Alzheimer's

A few bad nights might not hurt, but chronic sleep problems may be cause for concern, researcher says

7/5/2017
Sleep Problems: An Early Warning Sign of Alzheimer's?

Small study found an association but didn't prove link

6/29/2017
Slowed Walking, Shrinking Brain?

Seniors whose pace dropped showed shrinkage in brain region linked to memory, spatial orientation

6/28/2017
Popular Heartburn Meds Don't Raise Alzheimer's Risk: Study

New research debunks other studies suggesting that medications used to treat ulcers, reflux cause mental decline

6/22/2017
Lifestyle Changes Might Prevent or Slow Dementia

The public should be aware of this encouraging research, expert says

6/13/2017
Sticky Brain 'Plaques' Implicated in Alzheimer's Again

Researchers believe these substances form in early stages of the memory-robbing disease

6/2/2017
'Making the Best of It': Families Face the Heavy Burden of Alzheimer's

With U.S. cases expected to triple to 16 million by 2050, support for caregivers desperately needed

5/25/2017
Alzheimer's Deaths Jump 55 Percent: CDC

More patients also dying at home, with the caregiving burden falling on loved ones

5/9/2017
Thin People Not More Prone to Alzheimer's, Study Finds

Gene-based research suggests that, instead, early stage disease might cause weight loss

5/9/2017
Wives, Daughters Shoulder Most of Alzheimer's Care Burden

Careers, finances may take a hit because of caregiving demands, researchers say

5/3/2017
Gene Mutation May Speed Alzheimer's Decline

If beta-amyloid plaques are present in the brain, process is even faster, study finds

5/2/2017
Loving, Supportive Kids May Help Lower Seniors' Dementia Risk

But negative relationships with children, spouse increased chances, study finds

5/2/2017
'Silent' Seizures Tied to Alzheimer's Symptoms

Researchers suggest they're a potential target for treating the disease

4/20/2017
Do Diet Sodas Pose Health Risks?

Study suggests -- but does not prove -- a possible link to stroke, dementia

4/20/2017
Could a Zap to the Brain Jog Failing Memory?

Deep brain stimulation appears to help, but much more research is needed, scientists say

4/19/2017
Could Young Blood Boost the Aging Brain?

In study, mice regained memory skills after transfusion of human umbilical cord blood

4/11/2017
A Healthy Middle-Aged Heart May Protect Your Brain Later

Dementia expert says take up heart-healthy habits sooner rather than later

4/10/2017
Past Psychiatric Ills Don't Raise Alzheimer's Risk: Study

But more recent symptoms may be part of the disease

4/10/2017
Xanax, Valium May Boost Pneumonia Risk in Alzheimer's Patients

Researchers suspect people may breathe saliva or food into their lungs due to fatigue from the drugs

4/6/2017
FDA OKs 1st At-Home Genetic Tests for 10 Disorders

Saliva analysis can indicate higher risk of Parkinson's disease, among others, agency says

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