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HEALTH CONDITIONS
Alzheimer Disease
Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Common Name/Other Name: AD, Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease, named after German physician, Alois Alzheimer, is a form of degenerative disease of the brain that causes a gradual loss of memory or dementia in an individual which affects proper judgment and ability to function well in an environment. This also includes difficulties with language skills, thinking, problem-solving, and learning new information.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. It is considered as a slowly progressive brain disease which causes brain cells to die. Alzheimer's disease can be classified as early-onset or late-onset. Elderly people 65 years and above are more likely to develop Alzheimer's (late-onset). Only a few cases of Alzheimer's occur in people who are in their 40s or 50s. If this occurs in such age group, it is known as early-onset Alzheimer's.

Symptoms
  • Forgetfulness/memory lapses
  • Depression
  • Apathy
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Mood/behavior changes
  • Social withdrawal
  • Impaired communication
  • Poor judgment
  • Difficulty speaking, swallowing, and walking
Risk Factors
  • Age
  • Family history
  • Genetic factors
  • Gender
  • Lifestyle
  • Environment
  • Past head trauma
  • Toxic chemicals
Commonly Prescribed Drugs

These drugs are used to treat dementia or memory loss in people with Alzheimers disease. It does not cure Alzheimers disease, but it may improve the persons memory, attentiveness, and the ability to function in an environment. Rivastigmine is also used to treat dementia or memory loss in persons with Parkinsons disease but also does not cure the disease itself.

Memantine is used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimers disease. It acts by reducing abnormal activity in the brain, thereby, reducing memory loss and thinking problems. Memantine may improve the mental functions of a person with Alzheimers disease, however, this does not cure the disease.

Ginkgo biloba improves blood flow to the brain. It also functions as an antioxidant. Studies have shown that it can help boost memory and cognitive speed, thus, it can help with memory problems caused by dementia or Alzheimers disease.

  1. Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  2. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) Receptor Antagonist
  3. Other Drugs/Treatment Option
Treatment and Management
  • Be physically active and do physical exercises
  • Eat healthy. Eat fruits and vegetables
  • Use head gears for protection (e.g., when driving motorcycles, engaging in sporting activities, and the like)
  • Reduce stress
  • Avoid smoking and excessive drinking of alcohol
  • Be socially active and interact often with other people
  • Do some brain exercises like puzzles, playing games, or learning new things
Home Remedies
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