The disease is named for A. Alzheimer, who described this form of the disease in 1906. Untreated, the disease steadily progresses and leads to the destruction of all mental functions.
Causes of Alzheimer's disease not completely elucidated. There is a lot of evidence about the hereditary nature of the disease. However, there are cases of non-hereditary predisposition, especially in the later onset of the disease. Alzheimer's disease can begin at age 50, but is more common after 70, especially after 80 years.
What it is?
Alzheimer's disease - a neurological disease that is the most common cause of dementia, is more than 65% of dementia in the elderly. Illness twice more common in females than in males, which is partly due to the greater longevity of women.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. Thus, more than 65% of cases of dementia in the elderly is associated with this disease. I must say that it is more commonly diagnosed in women than in men. Often this is due to the fact that women have greater life expectancy.
About 4% of people aged between 65 and 74 years suffer from this disorder. In people older than 85 years, the disease is diagnosed much more frequently - approximately 30%. The number of patients is prevalent in developed countries, as people live longer.
The life expectancy of people with the disease an average of 8-10 years. In rare cases, a person can live to 14 years. However, about 90% of Russian cases pathology is not diagnosed because many people regard it as the particular symptoms of aging.
Alzheimer's disease is that it is still a mystery even for such advanced medicine. Unfortunately, today's technology is not much affected to explain the origin of a terrible disease.
On this subject, the majority of researchers continue to debate and only correct answer does not exist. However, it turned to withdraw until three assumptions about the causes of Alzheimer's disease:
- The latest TAU hypothesis - is radically different hypothesis that tells that the Tau protein, which is in a part of neurons, with age, able to form in the nerve cells of the so-called conglomerates that disrupt their normal functioning and can lead to death neuron.
- Amyloid hypothesis - says the cause of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease amyloid accumulation in the brain tissue. Scientists have experimented on mice using a drug able to "dissolve" the amyloid deposits in the brain, which showed successful results, however, in the treatment of people they had little influence.
- Outdated cholinergic hypothesis - based on age-related decrease the level of acetylcholine in the human body. Acetylcholine - a Neurotransmitter substance, due to which there is a transfer of nerve impulse between neurons. This assumption maloaktualnoe because more than once from the Alzheimer's patients were administered corrective drugs that can compensate for the deficiency of this substance and this treatment does not It helped.
Ten-year study of American scientists of Alzheimer's disease has led to the conclusion that for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease need to periodically visit an ophthalmologist. The disease is a precursor - Cataract. Learning about the clouding of the lens, you can assume the possible risk and with the help of a specialist to try to delay the first symptoms of Alzheimer's symptoms.
The first symptoms of Alzheimer's - the stage preddementsiya
The initial symptoms of Alzheimer's is often associated with age, other vascular disease or just a stressful situation that occurred some time before the onset of clinical manifestations.
The man at first only shows some still are not peculiar to him strange, therefore, unlikely loved ones come to mind that he had the initial stage of senile dementia of Alzheimer's type - predementsiya.
Learn it possible for such symptoms:
- First observed loss of the ability to perform work that requires special attention, concentration and specific skills;
- The patient can not remember what I did yesterday, and, moreover, the day before yesterday, if he took the medicine (although many such healthy moments, too, sometimes, pass by) - this is repeated more often, so it is evident that such cases it is better not to trust;
- Trying to learn a verse from a song or poem of the little success does not bring, and any other new information can not be stored in your head right time, it becomes an insurmountable problem;
- Patient difficult to focus, plan something, and in accordance with this make any difficult action;
- "You do not hear anything (not taking), you can not say anything ..." - these phrases more often heard in the address of the person to whom "That something is not right" - the loss of thought, lack of mental flexibility and communication with the opponent make it impossible to carry on with the patient productive dialogue. Such a person can hardly be called a good company that surprises people who know him intelligent and judicious;
- It becomes a problem for the patient and self-care: he forgets to bathe, change clothes, clean. It is not clear from grafted sloppiness in humans, earlier lover of order and cleanliness, also applies to signs of impending dementia.
It is believed that these symptoms on predementsii stage can be recognized for 8 years before the present manifestations of Alzheimer's disease.
Progressive deterioration of memory leads to such severe symptoms of disturbance that refer them to the aging process usually becomes impossible. As a rule, this is the reason for the assumption of the diagnosis "Alzheimer's disease". The different kinds of memory violated in varying degrees.
Most suffer short-term memory - the ability to learn new information or recent events. Few suffer from memory issues such as unconscious memory of actions memorized earlier (implicit memory) distant memories of life events (episodic memory) and learned a long time ago of the facts (semantic memory). Memory disorders are often accompanied by symptoms of agnosia - impaired auditory, visual and tactile perception.
In selected patients in the forefront in the hospital early dementia out executive functions disorder, apraxia, agnosia, or speech disorders. The latter are characterized by the decrease of the rate of speech, the impoverishment of vocabulary, weakening the ability of writing and verbally express their thoughts. However, at this stage, while communicating the patient adequately operates uncomplicated concepts.
Due to the frustration of praxis and planning movements when performing tasks with the use of fine motor skills (drawing, sewing, writing, dressing), the patient has an awkward appearance. Under Raney dementia patient is still able to independently perform many simple tasks. But in situations that require complex cognitive effort, he needs help.
Moderate stage of dementia
Progressive Alzheimer's disease exhibit symptoms such as a pronounced speech disturbances and minimal vocabulary. The patient loses the ability to read and write. The progression of impaired coordination leads to a complication of performing usual activities (dressing, adjustable water temperature, opening the door key). Not only the state of short-term memory is getting worse, but also begins to suffer long-term. At this stage of Alzheimer's can be a manifestation of such symptoms that the patient is unable to recognize relatives and completely forget the moments of youth, which are clearly used to remember.
Psycho-emotional disorder increases, manifested in vagrancy, emotional lability, irritability, resentment, especially in the early evening. Alzheimer's patient may become unreasonably aggressive or tearful, some even begins delirium begins resistance in any attempts to help.
Perhaps, urinary incontinence, in which a person is indifferent, because the concept of personal hygiene becomes alien to him.
At this stage of Alzheimer's disease patients are totally dependent on the help of others, it is vital care. It is almost completely lost, sometimes single words or short phrases are stored.
- Patients understand is said to them, can not be responsible if the words, the expression of emotions. Sometimes it can even be saved aggressive behavior, but as a rule, dominated by apathy and emotional exhaustion.
- People hardly moved, because of this, his muscles atrophied, and this leads to the impossibility of arbitrary action, patients can not even get out of bed.
Even the most simple tasks they need to help a stranger. Such people do not die because of the disease of Alzheimer's, but because of the complications that develop with constant bed rest, such as pneumonia or bedsores.
Treatment of this disease is very difficult because of Alzheimer's disease affects the occipital region of the brain where the centers of sight, touch, hearing, responsible for decision-making.
The same changes occur in the frontal lobes, which are responsible for the ability of music, language, calculation. All that experience, we think and feel - is in the entorhinal cortex. That we deeply care about, and seems uninteresting or boring, causing our joy or sadness - is going on here. There is no single drug that can cure man. In the treatment of cognitive disorders using cholinesterase inhibitors - Rivastigmign, donepezil, galantamine and NMDA-antagonist - Memantine.
How to treat Alzheimer's disease? The combined treatment of effective substances and antioxidants which improve microcirculation, brain blood circulation, hemodynamics, and lowering cholesterol. Medications prescribed doctors - neurologists and psychiatrists. Psychiatrists treat diseased on the basis of symptoms.
Relatives have a harder time of all, they need to understand that the patient's behavior provoked by the disease. On their part in relation to the patient it is important to patient care. The last stage of Alzheimer's disease the most hard to care: the patient must create a safe, secure power supply, prevention of infections and bedsores. It is important to streamline the regime of the day, it is recommended to make inscriptions, reminders for the patient, and to protect it from the stress of everyday life.
Stimulating treatments are: art therapy, music therapy, crossword puzzles, contact with animals, exercise. Relatives need as long as possible to support the physical activity of the patient.
The main concern for the patient usually assumes the spouse or a close relative, thus shouldering the heavy burden, because the care requires physical exertion, finance costs reflected in the social side of life, and psychologically painful. And patients and relatives usually prefer home care. It is possible to delay or completely avoid the need for a more professional and expensive care, but two-thirds of residents in nursing homes still suffer from dementia.
- Among those who are concerned about dementia patient, there is a high level of somatic diseases and mental disorders. If they live under the same roof with the patient, if the patient - a spouse, if the patient is depressed, behaves poorly, hallucinates suffering from a sleep disorder and is unable to move normally - all of these factors, according to research, are associated with an increased number of psychosocial problems.
- Caring for the sick and forced to spend with them an average of 47 hours a week, often at the expense of the working time, while the costs of care are high. Direct and indirect costs of patient care in the US average between $ 18,000 to $ 77,500 a year, according to various studies.
According to studies, the psychological health of caregivers for the sick, it is possible to strengthen methods Cognitive behavioral therapy and learning strategies to counter stress, both individually and in groups.
Diet for a person affected by Alzheimer's disease, is almost as important as pharmacological agents. The correct choice of the menu allows you to activate the components of memory, increase the ability to concentrate, a positive effect on brain activity.
Proper nutrition, the foundations of which are suggested below, it can be considered as a tool for prevention of dementia:
- Omega-3 - the most effective lipids to restore hematopoiesis processes. Also, these substances have a positive impact on the memory status, and suspend the destruction of intelligence. Receive valuable items can be made from olive oil, walnuts, seafood. Will be useful to periodically maintaining a Mediterranean diet, is based on seafood.
- Antioxidant included in the diet in the form of corn, celery, spinach, honey is also useful. The strong effect of (antioxidant, immunostimulating, antiinflammatory) has curcumin, which is extracted from the Indian spice turmeric.
- Products intended for the normalization of bowel activity is also very important. In the menu, be sure to include lean meat, eggs, liver and cereals.
- Amino acids help to restore brain function and improvement of nerve cells. In particular, it is important to regularly supply the organism with tryptophan and phenylalanine. Their suppliers are fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, herbs and dairy products.
There are also products which it is desirable to completely eliminate from the human menu suffering from Alzheimer's disease or at least reduce their number:
- Fat meat;
- Spicy seasonings and sauces.
Competent drinking regime also plays a role. The lack of liquid adversely affects the brain condition. The person with Alzheimer's disease should consume at least 2 liters of pure water per day. It is desirable to add in the diet of green tea, fresh juices are useful.
In the early stages of Alzheimer's disease responds poorly to the diagnosis. The definite diagnosis is usually made when cognitive impairment begins to reflect on a person's daily activities, even though the patient may still be able to live an independent life. Gradually light problems in cognitive replaced by increasing deviations as cognitive and other, a process that inevitably translates to person depending on foreign assistance state.
- Life expectancy in the group of patients decreased, and after diagnosis, they live an average of about seven years. Less than 3% of patients survive more than fourteen years. With increased mortality associated traits such as increased severity of cognitive impairment, reduced functioning, drop deviation in the neurological examination. Other related disorders such as cardiac problems, diabetes, a history of alcohol abuse are also associated with reduced survival. The earlier onset of Alzheimer's disease, the more years on average manage to survive after the patient diagnosis, but when compared with healthy people overall life expectancy of a man especially low. Prediction of survival in women is more favorable than that of men.
Mortality in patients in 70% of cases is caused by the disease itself, and the more often the immediate causes are pneumonia and dehydration. Cancer is noted in Alzheimer's disease less frequently than in the general population.
It is interesting: an interactive tour of the brain
Many people have heard about Alzheimer's disease, found himself (or a relative), its symptoms (With memory problems recently a learned and seen), are trying to prevent or stop process.
Firstly, in such cases it is necessary to know that this is indeed the disease, and, secondly, the special measures of prevention of senile dementia of Alzheimer's type, as it were, and not.
- Meanwhile some argue that the strengthening of intellectual activity will help save the situation: an urgent need to start playing chess, crossword puzzles, memorizing poems and songs, learn to play a musical instrument, learning foreign languages.
- Others are inclined to observe a special diet designed to reduce the risk and mitigate the symptoms dementia and consisting of vegetables, fruits, cereals, fish, red wine (in moderation) and olive oil.
We can assume that both are right, and others, for training the mind and certain foods can actually have a positive effect on mental activity. So why not try, because the worse will not be exact?
That's exactly what you should pay attention to people who are old age are very much afraid, "beside himself" and trying to prevent dementia, Alzheimer described, so it is on the prevention of cardiovascular pathology. The fact that the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as cholesterolemia, diabetes, hypertension, bad habits at the same time and increase the risk of developing the disease, and the likelihood of it more severe.