Alzheimer's Disease (AD)

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a degenerative, progressive, incurable disorder that affects the neurological and psychological functions of the brain. It is the leading cause of mental decline and dementia in the elderly, and is characterized by chronic memory loss, impaired cognitive and language functions, and changes in behavior and personality.

What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?

The exact cause of AD is unknown, but researchers believe that a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors play a role. The most commonly cited cause is the buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain, known as amyloid plaques and tangles, which interfere with the communication between nerve cells. Other known risk factors include age, family history, and lifestyle habits.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

AD tends to progress slowly, but as symptoms worsen, the person’s ability to care for themselves can decline drastically. Common symptoms of AD include:

  • Progressive memory loss and confusion
  • Impaired judgment
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Impaired communication
  • Difficulty completing everyday tasks

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease

Currently, there is no single test to diagnose AD, so diagnosis is based on a comprehensive assessment of the person’s medical history and symptoms, physical and neurological exams, laboratory and imaging tests, and mental status tests.

Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

Currently, there is no cure for AD, but there are treatments available to help reduce the symptoms and improve the person’s quality of life. Treatment typically includes a combination of medications, therapies, and lifestyle changes.

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

Although there is no surefire way to prevent AD, researchers believe that making certain lifestyle changes and engaging in regular cognitive and physical activity can reduce the risk. These activities include exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and staying socially engaged.