Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Stroke drug may also prevent Alzheimer's disease, study says

Researchers from the University of Southern California have discovered that a drug currently being developed to treat stroke patients could also prevent Alzheimer's disease. The study, which will be published January 15 in ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Neuronal cytoskeletons involved in Alzheimer's disease

A researcher at the UPV/EHU participated in a study describing the loss of dynamics and subsequent impairment of the dendritic spines in Alzheimer's disease. Dendritic spines are the compartments of neurons responsible for ...

Neuroscience

A new hope in treating neurodegenerative disease

Korean researchers have identified the inhibition of autophagy in microglia, brain immune cells. It is expected to help develop treatments for Alzheimer's disease which occur due to the inhibition of autophagy.

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Frailty could make people more susceptible to dementia

New research published in The Lancet Neurology journal suggests that frailty makes older adults more susceptible to Alzheimer's dementia, and moderates the effects of dementia-related brain changes on dementia symptoms. The ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Moving more in old age may protect brain from dementia

Older adults who move more than average, either in the form of daily exercise or just routine physical activity such as housework, may maintain more of their memory and thinking skills than people who are less active than ...

Neuroscience

Unraveling the mysteries of multiple sclerosis

Leiden chemists discovered a new mechanism which might explain how multiple sclerosis shifts to a more severe form. Their findings contribute to unraveling the mysterious course of the disease. They have published their findings ...

Immunology

Chaos in the body tunes up your immune system

Chaos in bodily regulation can optimize our immune system according to a recent discovery made by researchers at the University of Copenhagen's Niels Bohr Institute. The discovery may prove to be of great significance for ...

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Alzheimer's disease (AD), also known in medical literature as Alzheimer disease, is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. It was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him.

Most often, AD is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer's can occur much earlier. In 2006, there were 26.6 million sufferers worldwide. Alzheimer's is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050.

Although Alzheimer's disease develops differently for every individual, there are many common symptoms. Early symptoms are often mistakenly thought to be 'age-related' concerns, or manifestations of stress. In the early stages, the most common symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events. When AD is suspected, the diagnosis is usually confirmed with tests that evaluate behaviour and thinking abilities, often followed by a brain scan if available.

As the disease advances, symptoms can include confusion, irritability and aggression, mood swings, trouble with language, and long-term memory loss. As the sufferer declines they often withdraw from family and society. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Since the disease is different for each individual, predicting how it will affect the person is difficult. AD develops for an unknown and variable amount of time before becoming fully apparent, and it can progress undiagnosed for years. On average, the life expectancy following diagnosis is approximately seven years. Fewer than three percent of individuals live more than fourteen years after diagnosis.

The cause and progression of Alzheimer's disease are not well understood. Research indicates that the disease is associated with plaques and tangles in the brain. Current treatments only help with the symptoms of the disease. There are no available treatments that stop or reverse the progression of the disease. As of 2012[update], more than 1000 clinical trials have been or are being conducted to find ways to treat the disease, but it is unknown if any of the tested treatments will work. Mental stimulation, exercise, and a balanced diet have been suggested as possible ways to delay symptoms in healthy older individuals, but they have not been proven as effective.

Because AD cannot be cured and is degenerative, the sufferer relies on others for assistance. The role of the main caregiver is often taken by the spouse or a close relative. Alzheimer's disease is known for placing a great burden on caregivers; the pressures can be wide-ranging, involving social, psychological, physical, and economic elements of the caregiver's life. In developed countries, AD is one of the most costly diseases to society.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA