Alzheimer's Disease .. or The Baby Boomer Nightmare.
Dementia / Alzheimer's has been noted since the beginning of recorded history.
Dementia is progressive brain dysfunction (from Latin dementia: irrational).. the actual loss of brain function.
Smoking increases dementia risk by 50%! & Increases mid-life memory loss
Alzheimer's can be caused by endothelial dysfunction due to a loss of the vasodilator Nitric Oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is crucial to the widening of blood vessels (vasodilation) that improves blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues.
Nicotine is a permanent vasoconstrictor. Note elderly smoker's skin (no peripheral blood flow) & smoker's strokes are often due to vasoconstriction.
The so called Mediterranean diet consisting of fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and whole grains, fish and olive oil / canola oil is generally recognized to help defend against heart disease including cardio vascular disease / strokes, cancer, sinus, and asthma. Current statistical evidence suggests that it can also protect against Alzheimer's.
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a neurological condition in which the brain's nerve cells actually die.
Brain cells are actually lost .. Brain mass actually shrinks over a period of years.
Alzheimer's is not a popular diagnosis .. more persons exhibit symptoms than have an Alzheimer's Diagnosis.
The progression of the Alzheimer’s condition involves a run-away toxic protein beta-amyloid.
Gooey sticky fibrous clumps of amyloid plaque cause brain cell dysfunction & death
Very few persons under 60 have an Alzheimer's diagnosis. The incidence of Alzheimer's doubles every 5 years after 60.
In 1906 a German Dr. Alzheimer reported significant changes in the brain tissue of a deceased patient who had exhibited unusual mental symptoms.
Dr. Alzheimer reported that an autopsy revealed clumps of tangled fibers in the brain.
The clumps of tangled fibers are now called “amyloid plaques” and the tangles themselves are named “neurofibrillary tangles”.
2006: Those clumps, amyloid plaques, are the definitive diagnosis for Alzheimer’s.
2006: the test for those clumps is possible only post mortem
There is currently, 2006, no known chemical marker / lab test for monitoring of the development and progression amyloid plaques.
The beta-amyloid creates sticky plaques and fiber like tangles that gradually disables / kills nerve cells within the brains regions devoted to memory and learning.
There is progress being made with a counter acting protein, transthyretin, in animal / rodent studies.
In animals the Alzheimer's / Amyloid Plaque disease process depends in large part on the precise ratio between ‘good’ transthyretin protein and the ‘bad’ beta-amyloid protein.
There also are lower levels of chemicals, neurotransmitters, in the brain of Alzheimer's patients.
Neurotransmitters facilitate the communication between nerve / brain cells.
Alzheimer's Disease may disrupt normal thinking and memory by interfering with the messages between nerve cells.
Nerve impulses / communication between brain cells occurs in the presence of neurotransmitters. In Alzheimer's the density per cc of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)is reduced.
Medicare spent $91 billion on Alzheimer’s in 2005. Alzheimer's care is projected to be $160 billion in 2010 & $189 billion by 2015.
Exercise at least twice a week in sessions lasting 20 minutes to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease by 60%.
July, 2008: More positive repots on the effect exercise on Alzheimer's brain shrinkage.
Over 150 Supplements.. AAKG, Glutamine, Secretagogues, Weight Loss, Whey, L-Ornithine .. most with free shipping. Supplements supplement a complete diet .. not replace a complete diet.
The amyloid protein damages brain tissue by interacting with the enzyme amyloid beta alcohol dehydrogenase (ABAD) which then releasing the toxic substances that kills brain cells.
2009: There is no effective cure / treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alzheimer's & Glaucoma link discovered. The protein beta-amyloid also results in glaucoma's eye nerve cell damage.
Appropriate lifestyle interventions can delay disability and thus extend functionality. Appropriate exercise, proper rest, proper nutrition, appropriate use of alcohol & stop smoking .. (intelligent lifestyle?) ... extend mental function.
January, 2007: Alzheimer's vaccine 'in a patch'. University of South Florida researchers reported the patch was able to clear brain-damaging plaques from mice.
45% of people with Alzheimer’s disease residing in nursing homes are prescribed neuroleptics as a treatment for behavioral symptoms such as aggression. These Alzheimer's drugs are linked with a significant increase in long-term mortality - with patients dying on average six months earlier.
Appropriate exercise, proper rest & planned nutrition ... intelligent lifestyle?
60% - 80% of Alzheimer's Disease victims have a genetic predisposition
Thus, 20% - 40% are victims of Alzheimer's due to environmental or lifestyle variables.
You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 today and we don't know where the hell she is. ~Ellen DeGeneres
The scariest part of middle age is the knowledge that you'll grow out of
~ Doris Day
What's good for the heart is good for the brain.
"Mediterranean-style" healthy diet significantly reduces the risk of developing
there are over 90 current research studies in the US
dog jokes ..
dog sounds & dog woofs!
What's good for the heart is good for the brain. Eating a "Mediterranean-style" healthy diet significantly reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer's.
there are over 90 current research studies in the US Alzheimer's research centers
dog jokes ..
dog sounds & dog woofs!
People with Alzheimer suffer from impaired memory and orientation, have limited concentration, exhibit poor planning / judgment and often exhibit personality changes.
Initial symptoms often involve impaired communication, understanding, reading, or writing.
Alzheimer's disease is a slowly developing condition.
Age is the most critical risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease.
The brain tissue deterioration due to amyloid plaque is well underway when the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer's disease becomes clinically obvious / unavoidable.
Early diagnosis, medical treatment and lifestyle optimization often can extend functionality .. if not offer a cure.
21st century Scientists do not yet fully understand what causes Alzheimer's disease.
An omega-3 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, reduced the risk of dementia by about half.
The researchers looked for a reduced risk associated with seven other omega-3 fatty acids, but only DHA had any effect.
Mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are high in DHA.
Between 2001 and 2002, Dr. Mark Tuszinski and a team of researchers & surgeons at University of California San Diego surgically implanted genetically modified tissue into the brains of eight Alzheimer's patients.
This project suggest the gene therapy has slowed cognitive decline by as much as 50%.
September 25, 2006: Brown Medical School Providence, RI. Stimulation of a receptor in the brain that controls (the hormone) insulin response demonstrates an ability to halt or lessen the brain degeneration of Alzheimer's disease
If individuals are worried that they may be at elevated genetic risk due to family history, the best route is to remain mentally active, maintain healthy cholesterol levels / blood glucose levels and to exercise.
Brain trauma / head trauma also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's.
Feb. 27, 2005: Scientists say they have identified a section of the brain which, when damaged by stress hormones, can cause the onset of dementia. High levels of stress hormone have been found to shrink the anterior cingulate cortex at the centre of the brain.
It is the personality changes that often result in family members seeking professional help.
Alzheimer's patients can become overly anxious or irritated and aggressive.
Feb 26, 2006: High levels of stress hormones have been found to shrink the anterior cingulate cortex at the centre of the brain.
This shrinkage is an indicator for Dementia & Alzheimer's diagnosis.
Hormone replacement therapy can balance stress hormone levels with the friendly hormones HGH & Testosterone.
2006: A 100% positive diagnosis is only possible post mortem.
The diagnosis for Alzheimer's is the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain.
The only definite way to diagnose Alzheimer's Disease is examine brain tissue post mortem. Post mortem / autopsy
Currently there is no marker / test to identify amyloid plaques in living patient.
Currently the best diagnostics result in an Alzheimer’s Specialty Center is only 80% - 90% correct diagnosis.
= 20% misdiagnosis even at Alzheimer’s Specialty Centers.
Alzheimer's symptoms may present of 10 or even 20 years before symptoms are correctly diagnosed.
There probably is not one single cause.
In several studies, both Estrogen HRT and testosterone HRT appear to provide significant protection against Alzheimer's.
Research has found that a high level of the amino acid homocysteine increases one's risk.
B vitamins, especially folic acid, will help control high homocysteine levels.
There is a possible link between depression and Alzheimer’s.
The question is did depression cause Alzheimer’s or did cognitive loss cause depression.]
A Columbia University team tested the odors on 150 people with minimal to mild cognitive impairment.
Lemon, lilac and leather are three of 10 odors that can be used to tell whether a person is likely to develop dementia, according to US scientists.
Alzheimer's Disease patients performed poorly in terms of identifying 10 specific smells.
The odors also included clove, smoke, menthol, pineapple, soap, strawberry and the artificial 'egg-like' odor that is added to natural gas.
As the condition progresses patients may become aggressive
It is the personality changes that often force family members to choose professional care over home care.
The average lifetime cost for an individual with AD is estimated at $174,000, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Late stage patients demonstrate perceptual, speech and walking disorders.
Final stage patients may loose the ability to swallow or become incontinent
Patients lose their ability to live independently.
There is currently, 2006, no marker / test for monitoring of the development and progression amyloid plaques.
A marker / test for amyloid plaques is necessary to even measure the effectiveness of anti-amyloid therapy.
Swedish Doctors report in 2005 that abnormal concentrations of three proteins associated with the initial stages of Alzheimer's disease common in the protective / nutritive fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
The Swedish researchers report indicates that brain changes are well under way when the CSF changes can be measured.
The brain tissue deterioration due to amyloid plaque is well underway when the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer's disease becomes clinically obvious.
Asia Aging Study studied the links between age related diabetes the APOE e4 gene , Alzheimer’s Disease, and vascular related dementia.
Vascular Dementia is related to strokes.
They found that study participants with diabetes and APOE e4 had a higher risk of Alzheimer than did participants with neither.
Individuals with the APOE-e 4 gene anomaly consistently produce lower than average brain activity / glucose utilization in several specific & common / Alzheimer's related areas of the brain.
Poor base line performance on memory and assorted cognitive tests were not associated with APOE e4 gene.
Poor performance on subsequent tests were again associated with this gene.
People with this gene experience accelerated cognitive decline.
One major diagnostic efforts involves the use of21st century imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) & positron emission tomography (PET), to measure brain activity, brain structure and brain .function. Brain scans may one day help detect Alzheimer's disease and other forms of cognitive impairment before symptoms appear.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Imaging
PET imaging visually demonstrates metabolism of glucose (which the brain uses for energy) in specific brain regions, this demonstrates the level brain activity in specific areas.
In one study, lower than average / mean metabolism at any point during the study was correlated with a faster cognitive decline.
Or, once it starts .. hang on ..
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are very effective diagnostic tool when used over a period of time. Reduced brain size over a period of years is demonstrated by MRI scans.
MRI produces cross-sectional images by detecting the small density changes in the tissues. MRI scans reveal a contrast between the densities of normal and abnormal tissues.
MRI's are useful over a period of years to show changes.
An MRI can document an actual loss of brain/nerve cells in the areas of the brain involved with memory and cognition.
To determine whether persons in a very early phase of developing Alzheimer's could be identified prior to a clinical diagnosis.
Doctors can identify people who are developing the disease over time with high accuracy based on significantly smaller brain shape from the baseline. Will also demonstrate brain volume decreases for specific brain region.
No treatment can stop Alzheimer's disease. Some current medications appear to slow the progress of the disease or even reverse the symptoms for a period of months.
If You got this far down the page:
There is another protein, in addition to beta-amyloid, that is intimately involved in the tangled plaque. tau.
The nuerofibrillary tangles are composed primarily of the protein tau. Tau is a component of healthy neurons, however in Alzheimer's an enzyme Cdk5 weakens tau's physical structure and function .. which somehow causes it to form tangles.
The good news is that in test animals suppressing the secretion of Cdk5 has shown very positive results.
University of Chicago Researchers found that the first stage of age-related deterioration of sleep quality in men occurs between the ages of 25 and 45.
They found that the proportion of deep sleep drops from nearly 20% of a normal night's sleep for men under 25 to less than 5% for those over 35.
By age 45, few men spend much time in deep sleep.
Our ability to sleep, rather than our need for sleep, decreases as we enter middle age.