Alzheimer's Disease

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    A , Psychiatry, answered
    As Alzheimer's progresses, individuals become less able to perform the daily tasks we all do when we are healthy. Eventutally the damaged brain cells no longer send out the messages needed to cough, swallow or eat. So, if someone gets a bad cold, it can lead to penumonia. If a person cannot swallow, he no longer can eat. Any infection that may lead to a hospital stay is difficult for someone with advancing Alzheimer's since he no longer understands what is happening to him and often resists treatment. People with Alzheimer's continue to decline as these problems overwhelm them.
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    A Psychiatry, answered on behalf of
    In normal healthy aging, there is a good metabolism of glucose in the brain. As Alzheimer's disease progresses, there are decreases in metabolism. This occurs in the temporal lobe and the parietal lobe as a typical pattern called hypometabolism.
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    A Geriatric Medicine, answered on behalf of

    Alzheimer’s disease affects the body by impairing the parts of the brain that allow us to:

    • Form new memories
    • Reason
    • Orient ourselves

    As the disease progresses, it spreads to parts of the brain that control walking, swallowing and coordination. In this way, though Alzheimer’s starts out as a problem with memory and thought, it eventually affects the function of the entire body.

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    In a healthy brain, messages are sent back and forth between neural cells (neurons) via connecting tissue cables (synapses). An overabundance of amyloid plaques (outside the neurons) and/or neurofibrillary tangles (inside the neurons) are the most common features of Alzheimer's disease. Comprised of different proteins, plaques and tangles impair healthy neuron function and cause nerve cells to eventually die off, damaging the brain's intricate web of communication. This damage continues to spread over time, causing overall shrinkage of the brain.


    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
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    A , Psychiatry, answered
    Although Alzheimer's does affect the sense of smell, the use of aromatherapy does help people with Alzheimer's, and anyone, to relax. Both lemon and lavender scents act on the part of the brain to relax an individual even if the ability to detect odors has diminished.
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    Alzheimer’s disease is the most common dementia in older people in America. It is believed that damage to the brain begins 10 to 20 years before the onset of dementia. With that knowledge in mind, it is now thought that addressing the disease at its earliest stages is key to staving off dementia. "Ultimately it will be easier to protect a healthy brain rather than try to repair the brain once damage sets in," says Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Center on Aging.
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    A , Psychiatry, answered
    A small proportion of patients with Alzheimer’s disease may experience seizures solely as a result of the advancing Alzheimer’s disease. If someone has seizures a medical workup for other causes of seizures, such as tumors or strokes, should be carried out. But if no other causes are found, the patient should be treated with anti-seizure medications, such as the drug Dilantin or a similar drug prescribed to minimize the risk of recurrence of seizures.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    Roughly four out of ten people with Alzheimer's disease will experience psychosis, which is marked by recurring delusions or hallucinations. While this most often occurs in late-onset Alzheimer's and appears to run in families, specific genes associated with it have not yet been pinpointed. The disordered thinking that prompts delusions and hallucinations occurs sporadically, which tends not to be true in other forms of psychosis. A woman troubled by delusions might call the police to report strangers in the house, talk to herself in the mirror, or talk to people on TV. Hallucinations are often visual -- seeing jagged rocks or water where floorboards actually are -- but may be auditory (phantom voices), as well.
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    Communication is difficult for people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia, simply because they have trouble remembering things. This means they have:
    • Trouble finding the right word when speaking
    • Problems understanding what words mean
    • Problems paying attention during long conversations
    • Loss of train-of-thought when talking
    • Trouble remembering the steps in common activities, such as cooking a meal, paying bills, getting dressed or doing laundry
    • Problems blocking out background noises from the radio, TV, telephone calls or conversations in the room
    • Frustration if communication isn't working
    • Sensitivity to touch, tone, and loudness of voices
    Being sensitive to the communication challenges of people with AD or dementia is important. Be aware of your tone and body language, use touch while talking to show you care, make eye contact and be encouraging and try to remain calm even during angry outbursts.
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    Major complications from Alzheimer's disease include infections, such as pneumonia, or skin break down due to incontinence. Complications from Alzheimer's disease occur when people become debilitated and the immune system weakens.