Alzheimer's disease is a form of a mental disorder that is also known as "dementia", a brain disorder that affects and seriously impedes the brain's ability to process rational or normal thought. This usually results in limiting the amount of daily activities that require the use of cognitive abilities of its sufferers. Alzheimer's is a debilitating disease because it affects the part of the brain that is responsible for thought, memory, and language.
Alzheimer's is especially one of the most disabling diseases that can affect the older population. What makes Alzheimer's disease a very serious affliction is that it is a progressive disorder that can slowly kill the irreplaceable nerve cells in the brain. Although Alzheimer's is detected more often among patients over 60 years old, there are some individuals as young as 50 years of age who can show signs of Alzheimer's.
Alzheimer's disease holds no boundaries. It can equally affect people of different cultures and is found to afflict both males and females in equal proportions. Not one particular test is known to be used for diagnosing Alzheimer's. A variety of methods and tests are being used to diagnose 90 percent of Alzheimer's cases. A 100 percent accuracy in diagnosing the disease can only be achieved upon autopsy to check for plaques and tangles in the sufferer's brain.
The root cause of Alzheimer's disease is not yet quite well understood despite the many years of research on the debilitating condition. Alzheimer's is a complex disease that can be caused by a number of different influences.
The main cause of Alzheimer's disease that researchers today have found out is damaged brain cells that die for unknown reasons. The cause of Alzheimer's disease, which was first isolated by the German neurologist Dr. Alois Alzheimer, is the abnormal clumping together of brain cells. These clumps, also known as plaques, and knots or tangles which disrupt normal brain functioning, are considered as the main definitive characteristics of Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's Disease and Its Cause
Genetics are also being studied as a possible cause of Alzheimer's disease. Another possible cause of the disease is seen to be a slow developing viral infection that results in brain inflammation. Although the actual cause of Alzheimer's disease may not yet be known and still in the discovery stages, there are a number of risk factors that is known to increase the likelihood of Alzheimer development.
Age is known as a risk cause of Alzheimer's disease. As a person ages, the likelihood that he or she will develop Alzheimer's also increases. The average age of diagnosis for Alzheimer's is about 80 years old. Gender is also seen as involved in the development of Alzheimer's disease, but studies for this may still be inconclusive. The reason as to why the risk is seen to be greater in women is that they tend to live longer than the men.
Hereditary tendency is being looked into as another risk cause of Alzheimer's disease. The presence of some defective genes and genetic mutations within the same bloodlines has also been seen to increase the development of Alzheimer's disease.
Another possible cause of Alzheimer's disease that is being looked into is the malfunction of the immune system and protein imbalances that occur in the brain. Certain environmental factors such as the presence of aluminum in the home or workplace are also being put under investigation as a possible cause of Alzheimer's disease.
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