Sports Medicine & Kinesiology

Study analyzes mortality risks among pro athletes

Professional football players appear to have a somewhat elevated risk of death, including higher risk of succumbing to cardiac and neurodegenerative diseases, compared with professional baseball players of similar age, according ...

Neuroscience

ALS research reveals new treatment approach

On June 2, 1941, at the age of 37, baseball player Lou Gehrig succumbed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive muscle degeneration disease. Today, nearly 80 years following his death, scientists are still searching ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Road to cell death mapped in the Alzheimer's brain

Scientists have identified a new mechanism that accelerates aging in the brain and gives rise to the most devastating biological features of Alzheimer's disease.

Neuroscience

Smartphone app can help diagnose a rare disease

A team of researchers at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Lithuania have created a mobile application, which helps recognise early symptoms of rare Huntington's disease. Designed in cooperation with physicians and the ...

Diabetes

Study identifies enzymes that prevent diabetic kidney disease

A new study from Joslin Diabetes Center has proven that certain biological protective factors play a large role in preventing diabetic kidney disease in certain people. The study was published online in Diabetes Care.

Medical research

Targeting key gene could help lead to Down syndrome treatment

Targeting a key gene before birth could someday help lead to a treatment for Down syndrome by reversing abnormal embryonic brain development and improving cognitive function after birth, according to a Rutgers-led study.

Medical research

A new pathway for an anti-aging drug

In 1972, Easter Island, called Rapa Nui, famous for its moai statues, offered a new wonder: the discovery of the drug rapamycin.

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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