|Chlamydia bacteria. Image: ZEISS Microscopy/Flickr|
Alzheimer's disease is the cause of Dementia . Dementia words describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language problems. These symptoms occurs when brain is damaged by certain disease.These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour. The specific symptoms that someone with dementia experiences will depend on the parts of the brain that are damaged and the disease that is causing the dementia.Alzheimer's disease, named after the doctor who first described it (Alois Alzheimer), is a physical disease that affects the brain.
There are more than 520,000 people in the UK with Alzheimer's disease. During the course of the disease, proteins build up in the brain to form structures called 'plaques' and 'tangles'. This leads to the loss of connections between nerve cells, and eventually to the death of nerve cells and loss of brain tissue. People with Alzheimer's also have a shortage of some important chemicals in their brain. These chemical messengers help to transmit signals around the brain. When there is a shortage of them, the signals are not transmitted as effectively. As discussed below, current treatments for Alzheimer's disease can help boost the levels of chemical messengers in the brain, which can help with some of the symptoms.
Alzheimer's is a progressive disease. This means that gradually, over time, more parts of the brain are damaged. As this happens, more symptoms develop. They also become more severe.
According to ScienceAlert, an international group of 31 Alzhemwe's researchers has published an editorial urging the science world to change its focus when it comes to Alzheimer's disease.The message is clear - after a decade of failed attempts to treat and prevent the disease, it's time to reassess the evidence that Alzheimer's could be spread by microbes.
The editorial specifically implicates the herpes virus - the kind that causes cold sores - and two types of bacteria, all of which have already been linked to Alzheimer's disease.Now the editorial claims it's time to consider the idea that certain viruses or bacteria are triggering this plaque build-up in the first place, and investigate whether antimicrobial drugs could help stop it. They say that the first microbes we should investigate are the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), the chlamydia bacteria, and a type of spiral-shaped bacteria called spirochaetes.
The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are generally mild to start with, but they get worse over time and start to interfere with daily life.
There are some common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, but it is important to remember that everyone is unique. Two people with Alzheimer's are unlikely to experience the condition in exactly the same way.
For most people with Alzheimer's, the earliest symptoms are memory lapses. In particular, they may have difficulty recalling recent events and learning new information. These symptoms occur because the early damage in Alzheimer's is usually to a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which has a central role in day-to-day memory. Memory for life events that happened a long time ago is often unaffected in the early stages of the disease.
Memory loss due to Alzheimer's disease increasingly interferes with daily life as the condition progresses. The person may:
- lose items (eg keys, glasses) around the house
- struggle to find the right word in a conversation or forget someone's name
- forget about recent conversations or events
- get lost in a familiar place or on a familiar journey
- forget appointments or anniversaries.
Although memory difficulties are usually the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer's, someone with the disease will also have – or go on to develop – problems with other aspects of thinking, reasoning, perception or communication. They might have difficulties with:language – struggling to follow a conversation or repeating themselves visuospatial skills – problems judging distance or seeing objects in three dimensions; navigating stairs or parking the car become much harder concentrating, planning or organizing – difficulties making decisions, solving problems or carrying out a sequence of tasks (eg. cooking a meal) orientation – becoming confused or losing track of the day or date.
What causes dementia?
Alzheimer's disease - This is the most common cause of dementia. Brain cells are surrounded by an abnormal protein and their internal structure is also damaged. In time, chemical connections between brain cells are lost and some cells die. Problems with day-to-day memory are often noticed first, but other symptoms may include difficulties with: finding the right words, solving problems, making decisions, or perceiving things in three dimensions.
Treatment and Support:
There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but there is a lot that can be done to enable someone to live well with the condition. This will involve drug and non-drug care, support and activities.