What is Alzheimer?

Alzheimer’s disease is a diseases that affect the memory, concentration, thinking and behavior of the person who is suffering from it. The symptoms of Alzheimer vary widely from person to person, and in the more severe cases, the symptoms can be so hard that the person cannot function and perform simple daily tasks.

Alzheimer is the most common cause of dementia

Dementia is a general term describing a group of neurological disorders that affect memory and cognitive abilities. Alzheimer’s disease causes about 60-80% of dementia cases.

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Alzheimer’s disease and aging

Although it is common that as people get older, their memory gets less sharp, Alzheimer is not a normal part of growing old and aging. Alzheimer is a progressive disease that gets worse over time, which is why it is associated with old people.  There are, however, also young people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease

The symptoms of Alzheimer usually get worse in a gradual manner, over a number of years. During the early stages of Alzheimer, which are also refereed to as ‘pre-clinical’, the symptoms are usually very mild, and in most cases the person is not yet diagnosed with Alzheimer, although the brain damage is already happening. As the years go by, the symptoms are worsening, and in the final stages of Alzheimer a person is not able to carry on daily tasks.

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Symptoms of Alzheimer

The most common symptom of Alzheimer is difficulty in learning and remembering new information and skills. Although there can be multiple reasons for memory difficulties (such as emotional reasons), if a person shows consistent signs of confusion, memory loss and disorientation, it might very well be a sign of Alzheimer.

Alzheimer’s disease is caused by plaques & tangles that impact the parts of the brain that are related to learning and cognitive abilities, so the first symptoms would be related to memory, concentration and cognitive abilities.

Plaques & tangles are the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease

There are two abnormal physiological structures, which are named “Plaques” & “Tangles”, that are causing the damage to the brain cells.

Plaques are deposits of a protein called “Beta- Amyloid”, and tangles are twisted fibers of a different protein, that is called “tau”, and build up inside the different brain cells.
It is common for all people to have plaques and tangles in their brains, but in cases of Alzheimer, the amount of plaques & tangles is huge. They develop much faster and are concentrated in specific areas in the brain, that are related to memory and cognitive abilities.