Alzheimer’s disease, discovered by German physician Alois Alzheimeris, is a progressive brain disease that wreaks havoc on memory, thinking skills, and the capacity to carry out even the most basic tasks. Symptoms of late-onset type occur in the mid-60s in most patients with the condition. Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease is extremely rare and surfaces between 30 and 60. The most common cause of dementia in older adults is Alzheimer’s disease.
While scientists haven’t come to a definitive conclusion, they know that the brain’s factories aren’t functioning as efficiently as they should. The breakdown of one system leads to other problems. Damaged cells lose their ability to function. In this case, the prime suspects are abnormal structures called plaques and tangles. Plaques are deposits of beta-amyloid protein fragments that accumulate in the spaces between nerve cells, while tangles are twisted fibers of tau protein.
What causes Alzheimer’s disease
The human brain contains more than 100 billion nerve cells and other cells. These cells work together to fulfill the communications necessary for the brain’s various functions. When these cells become tangled, this prevents communication between the nerve cells and eventually results in Alzheimer’s symptoms.
The underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease are still unknown, but scientists have discovered several factors responsible for this progressive condition. One known risk factor for Alzheimer’s is advancing age. While growing older is not directly responsible for the disease, it can increase your risk of developing it. Having more than one Alzheimer’s-affected family member increases your risk.
Another reason is the abnormal protein deposits called beta-amyloid plaques. These deposits cause the once-healthy neurons in the brain to function less efficiently and to communicate with each other. These proteins build up in the brain, reducing the volume of the hippocampus and destroying synapses.
How to treat Alzheimer’s disease
Unfortunately, the disease is highly complex, and there are no cures for it yet. Most treatments focus on maintaining mental function and slowing or delaying the disease’s progression. It would be best if you always listened to your doctor’s advice.
As the disease progresses, routine activities become more difficult. Even simple tasks like cooking or washing dishes become more difficult. However, many essential skills are still preserved even as the symptoms worsen. This is because people with the disease have more trouble with multitasking, and they don’t react to situations appropriately. They also have difficulty with numbers and finances. They are unable to understand their surroundings and their own thoughts. In fact, they might make poor social choices and wear inappropriate clothes.
How to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
While there’s no way to stop the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, there are many things you can do to reduce the risk of the condition. While genes and aging play a role in your risk, you can make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce your risk.
Some people engage in activities that help them stay mentally sharp. For example, people who play video games, do crossword puzzles and read a lot are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease at an early age or slow down their progress.
Although there are no known ways to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, you can lower your risk of developing the condition by adjusting your lifestyle and avoiding certain types of food. Avoiding fatty and refined sugar will also help your health in other areas. A nutritious diet, exercise, and social engagement are great ways to increase your brain health and slow the onset of the disease.