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20 Facts About Alzheimer's Disease

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Alzheimer's disease, also known as just Alzheimer's, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gets worse over time.

Neurodegeneration is the umbrella term for the progressive loss of structure or function of neurons, including death of neurons.

A gene is a locus of DNA which is made up of nucleotides and is the molecular unit of heredity.

Alzheimers Disease by EmpoweRN

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It is the cause of 60% to 70% of cases of dementia.

Dementia, also known as senility, is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long term and often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember that is great enough to affect a person's daily functioning.

Stages of Alzheimer's Disease (Alzheimers #2) by Healthguru

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The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events.

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As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language, disorientation, mood swings, loss of motivation, not managing self care, and behavioural issues.

An ion is an atom or a molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving the atom or molecule a net positive or negative electrical charge.

Language is the ability to acquire and use complex systems of communication, particularly the human ability to do so, and a language is any specific example of such a system.

Motivation is a theoretical construct used to explain behaviour.

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As a person's condition declines, they often withdraw from family and society.

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Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death.

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Although the speed of progression can vary, the average life expectancy following diagnosis is three to nine years.

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The cause of Alzheimer's disease is poorly understood.

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About 70% of the risk is believed to be genetic with many genes usually involved.

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Other risk factors include a history of head injuries, depression, or hypertension.

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a long term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated.

In epidemiology, a risk factor is a variable associated with an increased risk of disease or infection.

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The disease process is associated with plaques and tangles in the brain.

The brain is an organ that serves as the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals.

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A probable diagnosis is based on the history of the illness and cognitive testing with medical imaging and blood tests to rule out other possible causes.

Medical imaging is the technique and process of creating visual representations of the interior of a body for clinical analysis and medical intervention, as well as visual representation of the function of some organs or tissues.

A blood test is a laboratory analysis performed on a blood sample that is usually extracted from a vein in the arm using a needle, or via fingerprick.

Cognition is "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses."

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Initial symptoms are often mistaken for normal ageing.

Ageing, also spelled aging, is the process of becoming older.

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Examination of brain tissue is needed for a definite diagnosis.

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Mental and physical exercise, and avoiding obesity may decrease the risk of AD.

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health.

Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness.

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There are no medications or supplements that decrease risk.

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No treatments stop or reverse its progression, though some may temporarily improve symptoms.

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Affected people increasingly rely on others for assistance, often placing a burden on the caregiver; the pressures can include social, psychological, physical, and economic elements.

A caregiver or carer is an unpaid or paid person who helps another individual with an impairment with his or her activities of daily living.

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Exercise programmes may be beneficial with respect to activities of daily living and can potentially improve outcomes.

Activities of daily living is a term used in healthcare to refer to people's daily self care activities.

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Treatment of behavioural problems or psychosis due to dementia with antipsychotics is common but not usually recommended due to there often being little benefit and an increased risk of early death.

Antipsychotics also known as neuroleptics or major tranquilizers, are a class of medication primarily used to manage psychosis, principally in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Psychosis is an abnormal condition of the mind that involves a "loss of contact with reality".

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