Alzheimer’s Disease – Tara Kuck

Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Alzheimer’s disease:  type of dementia that causes problems with memory loss, thinking, and behavior
  • Form of dementia:  not a single disease in itself but describes symptoms like impairments of the memory, thinking, and communicating
  • The majority of people suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease are 65+ years old
    • Early onset Alzheimer’s can start at about 40 or 50 years old
  • Progressive disease: starts off mild (for example, forgetting common tasks) and progresses into not being to able function in everyday environment (for example, partaking in everyday activities)
  • 6th leading cause of death in the U.S
  • Those with Alzheimer’s live, on average, 8 years after their symptoms have become noticeable by others
  • Currently, there is no cure but researchers are looking for more ways to delay early onset
  • There is more likely than not, a genetic risk factor
  • Caused by multiple single-gene mutations on chromosomes 21, 14, and 1
    • Each mutation cause abnormal proteins to form
  • Mutations of the APP (amyloid precursor protein)
    • Function of APP is not known yet
    • The breakdown of this protein produces harmful plaques
  • Genetic testing will never be able to predict the disease with 100% accuracy because of the multiple factors that influence the disease
  • Brain size shrinks
  • More women than men are affected
  • 7 stages:
    • No impairment (formal function), very mild decline, mild decline, moderate decline, moderately severe decline, severe decline, very severe decline (swallowing impaired, abnormal reflexes)
  • Exercise, play cards and games, eat foods that are low in fat, social engagement and interaction

Seth Rogan on C-SPAN 


Walk to End Alzheimer’s

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