Why Does Dementia Cause Death – Alzheimer’s disease causes memory, thinking, learning and organizational skills to decline over time. It is the most common cause of dementia and usually affects people over the age of 65. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but some medications and treatments can help control symptoms temporarily.
Alzheimer’s disease (pronounced “alz-HAI-mirs”) is a brain disease that causes a progressive decline in memory, thinking, learning, and organizational skills. This ultimately affects a person’s ability to perform basic daily activities. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia.
- 1 Why Does Dementia Cause Death
- 2 What Are The 3 Stages Of Alzheimer’s Dementia?
- 3 Alzheimer’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Stages
- 4 Terminal Restlessness: Agitation And Delirium Before Death
- 5 Dementia As A Cause Of Death
Why Does Dementia Cause Death
Alzheimer’s symptoms worsen over time. Researchers believe that the disease process can begin 10 or more years before the first symptoms appear. AD usually affects people over the age of 65.
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Dementia describes the state of a person’s mental function. This is not a specific disease. It is a decline in mental function from a previously high level that is severe enough to interfere with daily life.
A person with dementia has two or more of these specific problems, including changes or decreases in:
Dementia varies in severity. In the mild stage, you may notice a slight decrease in mental activity and need help with daily tasks. At the most difficult stage, a person is completely dependent on the help of others in ordinary everyday tasks.
Dementia occurs when infections or diseases affect parts of your brain related to learning, memory, decision-making, or language. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for at least two-thirds of dementia cases in people age 65 and older.
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Alzheimer’s disease mainly affects people over the age of 65. The older you are, the more likely you are to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Some people develop Alzheimer’s disease before the age of 65 – usually in their 40s or 50s. This is called early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. This is rare. Less than 10% of AD cases progress.
Alzheimer’s disease is common. It affects approximately 24 million people worldwide. This is every tenth person over the age of 65 and a third of people over the age of 85.
Alzheimer’s organizations and health care providers use different terms to describe the stages of Alzheimer’s disease based on symptoms.
What Are The 3 Stages Of Alzheimer’s Dementia?
Although the conditions are different, all stages follow the same pattern – AD symptoms worsen over time.
However, no two people experience AD the same way. Each person with Alzheimer’s will move through the stages at a different rate. Not all changes will happen in every person. It is sometimes difficult for providers to assign a person with AD to a specific stage because the stages can overlap.
Don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare provider or your loved one what they mean when they use certain words to describe the stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Providers usually only refer to earlier stages of Alzheimer’s research. People with AD in the preclinical stage usually have no symptoms (are asymptomatic).
Why Dementia Doesn’t Need To Be The Biggest Killer
However, changes are taking place in their brains. This phase can last for years or even decades. People at this stage are usually not yet diagnosed with Alzheimer’s because they are functioning at a high level.
There are now brain imaging tests that can detect protein deposits in your brain called aloids that interfere with your brain’s communication system before symptoms appear.
When memory problems become noticeable, health professionals often identify it as mild cognitive impairment (MCI). There is a slight decrease in mental abilities compared to other peers.
If you are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, you may notice a slight decline in your abilities. Others around you can notice and identify these changes. But the changes are not so serious as to interfere with everyday life and activities.
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In some cases, the disease being treated or the effects of the disease cause mild cognitive impairment. However, for most people with MCI, it is a point on the road to dementia.
Researchers consider MCI to be a stage between the cognitive changes seen in normal aging and the early stages of dementia. Various diseases can cause MCI, including Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. Similarly, dementia can have different causes.
Signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) depend on the stage of the disease. In general, AD symptoms include a gradual decrease in some, most, or all of the following:
People with memory loss or other signs of Alzheimer’s disease may have difficulty recognizing their mental decline. These signs may be more obvious to loved ones. Anyone experiencing dementia-like symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible.
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AD symptoms become noticeable in the mild phase. The most common early symptom is forgetting recently learned information, especially recent events, places, and names.
Most people in the mild stages of AD have no problem recognizing familiar faces and can normally travel to familiar places.
Moderate Alzheimer’s disease is usually a long-term stage and can last for several years. People in the moderate stages of Alzheimer’s often need care and support.
An abnormal build-up of proteins in your brain causes Alzheimer’s disease. A build-up of these proteins—doped protein and tau—causes brain cells to die.
Alzheimer’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Stages
The human brain has more than 100 billion nerve and other cells. Nerve cells work together to carry out all the communication necessary for functions such as thinking, learning, remembering and planning.
Scientists believe that the protein alloy that accumulates in brain cells is called plaque. Another protein called tau forms damaged fibers in the legs. These plaques and tangles block communication between nerve cells, preventing them from performing their actions.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are the result of the slow and prolonged death of nerve cells. The death of nerve cells starts in one part of your brain (usually the hippocampus, the area of the brain that controls memory) and then spreads to other areas.
Despite ongoing research, scientists still don’t know what actually causes these proteins to build up. Until now, they believe that a genetic mutation can cause the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. They believe that late-onset Alzheimer’s disease is caused by a complex series of brain changes that can occur over decades. A combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors likely contribute to the cause.
Terminal Restlessness: Agitation And Delirium Before Death
Researchers do not know why some people develop Alzheimer’s disease and others do not. But they have identified several factors that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, including genetic (inherited) factors.
ε4, increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and is also associated with the age of onset of the disease. However, being
If you have a first-degree relative (biological parent or sibling) with Alzheimer’s disease, your risk of developing the disease increases from 10% to 30%. People who have two or more siblings with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease are three times more likely to develop the disease than the general population.
Health professionals use several methods to determine whether a person with memory problems has Alzheimer’s disease. This is because many other conditions, especially neurological ones, can cause dementia and other Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Alzheimer’s Facts & Statistics
In the early stages of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, your doctor will ask questions to better understand your health and daily life. Your provider may ask someone close to you, such as a family member or caregiver, to provide information about your symptoms. They ask about:
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but some medications can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms. Medications and other interventions can also help with behavioral symptoms.
Starting Alzheimer’s treatment as early as possible can help maintain daily functioning for a while. However, current medications cannot prevent or reverse AD.
Because AD affects everyone differently, treatment is highly individualized. Health care providers work with people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers to determine the best treatment plan.
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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two types of drugs to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:
The FDA has fast-tracked approval for aducanumab (Aduhelm™), the first disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The drug helps reduce the accumulation of alcohol in your brain.
Aducanumab is a new drug, and researchers have been studying its effects on people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Because of this, it can only help people at the initial stage.
These drugs work by blocking the action of acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is one of the chemicals that helps nerve cells communicate. Researchers believe that a deficiency of acetylcholine causes some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
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Memantine (Namenda®) is FDA approved for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. It helps keep certain brain cells healthy.
Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s who take memantine do better at activities of daily living such as eating, walking, toileting, bathing, and dressing.
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you can take steps to help them feel comfortable in their environment and manage behavioral changes. you can:
There are no drugs approved to treat the behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s dementia. Certain medications may help some people, including:
Dementia As A Cause Of Death
These drugs can cause unpleasant or potentially dangerous side effects (such as dizziness that can lead to falls), so healthcare providers usually only prescribe them for short periods of time when behavior problems are severe. Or right after your loved one has tried a safe non-drug treatment.
Scientists are actively researching Alzheimer’s disease and possible treatment methods. Ask your provider if there are any clinical trials that can be done
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