It affects over 450,000 people across the UK, yes exact causes of Alzheimer's disease are not yet known. However, researchers have identified the overall biological process taking place.
Transmitters that relay messages to and from the brain are 'disrupted' or 'damaged' after Alzheimer's disease destroys brain cells. These transmitters that are affected are those responsible for 'storing memories'.
There are also a number of risk factors that scientists have identified. Probably the most significant factor is Age: You chance of being affected is
Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease
You will find lapses of memory, mood swings and confusion over words for everyday objects are all typical signs of early Alzheimer's. Symptoms usually start to appear over six months or more and as it develops people routinely forget things (appointments, names, faces), experience mood swings, have difficulty when handling money and understanding what is being said to them.
Advanced Alzheimer's disease
As the brain becomes more damaged, people in the advanced stages of dementia can experience severe memory loss and physical disability. A person with advanced dementia may become totally dependent on a carer or nursing care.
Managing Alzheimer's disease
As with many other conditions or illnesses, an early diagnosis means management of Alzheimer's can be started as soon as possible. Scans and simple memory tests will determine whether a person can store information in the memory. These tests are then repeated after a few months and used as a comparison. People with the disease usually live for 5 - 10 years after diagnosis, albeit with close supervision and nursing care. Memory aids can be useful to deal with some symptoms of the disease. There are new drug treatments, which although not a cure, can delay the onset of symptoms in some people for 1 - 2 years.