Alzheimer's Causes

Living With Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's Causes and Treatment

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia that affects millions of people all over the world. For the patient and their families, it can be a hard and trying time to go through the various stages of Alzheimer's. However, with the proper care as well as the right information on the disease and the available treatments, individuals with Alzheimer's can live relatively comfortable lives.

When learning about Alzheimer's, you will need to know about the causes as well as the treatments available for this mental condition. Regarding Alzheimer's causes, scientists continue to conduct massive amounts of research into determining the exact cause of Alzheimer's. However, a number of scientists believe that Alzheimer's is the direct result of a combination of genetic, lifestyle as well as environmental factors. This combination of factors is thought to affect the brain over a period of time thus causing the illness.

In terms of percentages, less than 5% of the reported Alzheimer's cases are due to genetic changes. As such, this leaves a large percentage still unaccounted for. Researchers are still conducting test to ascertain the other probable causes of Alzheimer's. However, when learning about Alzheimer's causes, you will need to understand the effect of the illness on the brain.

Put simply, Alzheimer's kills the brain cells. The longer one has this condition, the fewer healthy cells their brain has. The death of brain cells eventually leads to brain shrinkage. Studies conducted on the brains of deceased Alzheimer's patients have revealed two main abnormalities not present in a healthy brain: plaques and tangles.

Plaques are a prime suspect when discussing Alzheimer's causes, especially when dealing with brain cell death. Plaques refer to deposits of a complex protein called beta-amyloid. The effect of this protein on the brain is known to damage and even destroy healthy brain cells.

The brain cells, just like any other cells, require nutrition and oxygen. This is achieved through a complex structure of a protein called tau. However, in an Alzheimer's patient’s brain, the transport system fails as the threads of tau form abnormal tangles. Due to this system failure, the healthy brain cells start to die and reduce in number.

While Alzheimer's causes have yet to be determined, there are a number of treatments available for patients both in the early stages and the advanced stage of the illness. One may choose to care for the individual at home as long as they are able, or they may choose to use more professional services provided at an Alzheimer’s care hospice. A number of treatments have been developed which are quite effective in slowing down the progression of the disease. Every day, researchers draw closer to finding a cure for Alzheimer's. As such, one should always stay updated on current research.