Can grandma remember to pay her gas bill? How much time does it take her to go outside and get in the car? If she can't remember to pay the gas bill or it may take her a hour to get outside, the cause of this might be Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is a disease of the brain that causes severe memory loss. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive illness, which means the disease and its symptoms, worsen over time.
Alzheimer's is a form of dementia. Dementia is a group of brain disorders that cause memory loss and a decline in mental function. Alzheimer's increases with age, and is very rare among people younger than sixty. Alzheimer's affects up to fifty percent of people older than eighty-five, and the risk increases with age. Although, the first symptoms are confused with changes that take place with normal aging, Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging. Today, doctors and scientist are making steady progress in understanding how Alzheimer's affects the brain, but they still don't know the cause. High cholesterol or high blood pressure may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
The brain is the most complex organ of the human body. It controls functions that affect are daily lives such as speaking, moving, seeing, making decisions, and having emotional response, digestion, breathing and circulation. You may think of the brain as a communication network, made up of billion of neurons. In people who have Alzheimer's disease, change to the nerve structures cause the communication pathways to break down and become permanently disconnected. As a result, brain function that controls memory, behavior, personality, and other bodily functions, can be lost.
Alzheimer's may change the brain ten to twenty years before any visible signs or symptoms appear. Alzheimer's disease progresses through three main stages. The three main stages of Alzheimer's are:...