Disease Research

Alzheimer’s On the Rise

Alzheimer’s is a neurological disorder that consists of progressive mental and cognitive deficits due to overall degeneration of the brain. Alzheimer’s is the primary diagnosis for senility in adults’ aged 65 and up.

The condition itself is irreversible and ultimately leads to deficits severe enough that the body is no longer able to sustain itself. Patients with this condition usually pass away from malnourishment or infection due to a decline in health, cognition and standard functional capabilities.

What causes Alzheimer’s?

The exact cause or trigger is theorized and continuously studied, but not known precisely. Scientists across the board speculate that it’s a combination of genes, lifestyle and environmental triggers that cause an effect in the brain for Alzheimer’s to develop.

Scientists also know, through various studies and case studies, that less than 5% of Alzheimer’s cases are caused by specific genetic anomalies that guarantee an individual will develop the disorder at some point in their life.

What age is Alzheimer’s commonly diagnosed?

Of all known cases of Alzheimer’s, scientists report that less than 5% of cases will develop before the age of 65. People within a population can develop what is known as early onset Alzheimer’s that extends between the ages of 40 to 50. The youngest known case of early onset Alzheimer’s was a 27-year-old who also had a condition known as Down’s syndrome.

What are the first signs to present before the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s?

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Increased difficulty with solving simple problems
  • Difficulty planning normal routine
  • Vision Deficit
  • A struggle with normal word usage
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Memory difficulty with placement of items
  • Unable to determine the time or place easily

What is the life expectancy average?

The average life expectancy can vary for each individual, but research has determined that on average, an individual diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can live four to eight years and the longest can be twenty years. Other factors are taken into consideration such as overall health, co-morbidities as well as lifestyle habits.

As the years’ progress, Alzheimer’s patients will typically need 24-hour care to ensure safety as well as provide necessary cares depending on the severity of the disease.

Is Alzheimer’s curable?

There is no known cure at this time; however, research has led promising results in isolating a specific enzyme and blocking its effects will allow memory loss to be reversed or prevented. How this would be administered and deemed appropriate for patients is still in the process of being studied.

Many advancements have occurred over the years to help delay and control the symptoms of Alzheimer’s by way of medications, diet, and lifestyle changes.

Is Alzheimer’s terminal?

In the later stages of Alzheimer’s, the individual has limited cognitive and motor skills due to the deterioration of the brain. However the disorder itself is not fatal, but rather the increased risk of infection due to malnutrition, inactivity and other factors is what allows opportunistic infections to take root. Infections such as urinary tract infections or pneumonia create complications that become fatal to the Alzheimer’s patient.