Alzheimer's, A Growing Problem

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Alzheimer's is a growing problem, effecting millions of people and their families characterized by lack of memory and retention. Although much research has been conducted on the issue, little is known on what causes it. In fact, Alzheimer's can't be physically diagnosed without an autopsy, so biological reasons for causation are hard to determine. What is known by autopsy is that people who die with alzheimer's have a large amount of protein that isn't found in patients without. The reason Alzheimer's is an age problem is that these proteins are accumulated at a low rate throughout life, and only come into play after being built up for a long time.
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What confuses doctors is that there seems to be no link between demographics and Alzheimer's besides age. What can be link to Alzheimer's is genetics. If your ancestor's were diagnosed your chances of contracting the disease goes up exponentially. Another link is lifestyles and life events. Patients with serious head trauma are at a much higher risk of having Alzheimer's than patients without. Also those who keep an active lifestyle, and live a life of engaging their brain, have a lower chance of having the disease. Although Alzheimer's exact cause is a mystery, through research, some factors such as genetics, and lifestyle choices, are linked to the cause of Alzheimer's Disease.

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This is very interesting! I didn't know that Alzheimer's can't actually be diagnosed except in an autopsy. I know family friends who have had family members suffer from Alzheimer's and it is a very emotionally painful disease for everyone involved. I hope one day we can find a cure or something to prevent Alzheimer's because no one should ever go through that or watch someone they love go through it.

I am surprised to learn that the causes of Alzheimer's are still so widely unknown. I also find it unfortunate that there is relatively little one can do to avoid such a debilitating disease.

I learned from your blog that little is known on what causes Alzheimer's Disease. I wonder how the name, Alzheimer's, came to be. Fortunately none of my relatives, who are old now show the similar symptom, but if one of the causes is the accumulation of protein, I should worry about that. I love obtaining protein, especially, chicken breast and protein drinks for my body shape.

This is pretty interesting article. I want to learn more about the cause of Alzheimer. I searched by myself about the cause of Alzheimer, and found the interesting article. It explain the relationship between Mad Cow and Alzheimer. here is the source. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101145687

Great article! Although the definitive diagnosis is made through an autopsy there are new imaging techniques which can facilitate a probable diagnosis. You can also technically get a biopsy while your alive which involves removing a portion of your brain for testing, but the volunteer list for those is non-existent (I wonder why!).

I think Alzheimer's is a topic that should continue to be researched and explored in great depth. It is a very sad and unfortunate disease affecting millions worldwide. More research should be done on some of the causes you mentioned. Maybe the higher protein levels is a good place to start. More extensive research into the causes of Alzheimer's will hopefully also lead to cures. Prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's would be an amazing thing, and I definitely feel it is possible with further research.

This blog surprised me. I know a lot about Alzheimer's and that it can be genetic and increased with age, but I did not know that the main cause of Alzheimer's was due to a protein that did not develop as well in these people as those without Alzheimer's. However, if these people are already born un-able to produce this protein at the same level as other people, then how is it that an active lifestyle can help to limit the chances for this disease? I am thinking it has to do with the plasticity of the brain. Also, I know that acetylcholine which is a neurotransmitter in the brain dealing with memory has a lot to due with this disease as well.

What do you think the implications are of our current understanding of Alzheimer's? Links to more information would be nice.

I didn't know that Alzheimer's was most related to genetics. Diseases that have an unknown cause always make me wonder why we can't seem to find anything out about them.

My great grandma has Alzheimer's. I did not know that it was most related to genetics! Kind of worries me for when I get old. One thing I find frustrating and interesting though is that people who engage their brain throughout their life have less of a risk of getting this disease. This frustrates me because my great grandma was a school teacher for many many years. Back in her day it wasn't very common to go through all of the schooling to become a teacher. She was very determined and smart. It baffles me to see her now almost comatose, just laying there and not remembering anything. If it is true that people who live a life engaging their brain, she should be far from getting this disease.

Great article!

Interesting blog! I was surprised that the cause to Alzheimer's was still unknown. I did however know that it was genetic because every generation in my family has had it. I found it really interesting that people who engage their brain throughout their life have less of a risk of getting Alzheimer's. A link with more information would me nice but I think you covered the important stuff in your blog!

I too have had family diagnosed with alzheimers, though they passed away before moving into the later stages of the disease. It is rather extraordinary that such a common disease is still unknown. My hypothesis is this: The rise in such age related diseases is simply correlated to the fact that modern medicine is helping people live longer, brining about a whole myriad of extended age related problems that didn't come into play before. Personally, I'm not sure that this is to their benefit or the benefit of those who love them. Due to my heritage I am at an increased risk of Alzhiemers, but I know I would not want to be supported to live if my mind wasn't my own and I couldn't recognize my friends and family.

I found this article very interesting. I had no idea that alzheimers could only be diagnosed through an autopsy.Does this mean that people diagnosed with it during their lifetime are only spectated to have the disease? And I also wonder if they now the exact protein linked to alzheimers. It's crazy how much we still have to learn about this disease.

It's crazy to think that with all the technology we have at our hands Alzheimers is still a mystery. What kind of protein is linked to Alzheimers? Can our lifestyle choices really affect the chances of us contracting Alzheimers or is it mostly genetic? There's so many questions for a disease that is affecting many, yet we know little about it.

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This page contains a single entry by maje0096 published on March 4, 2012 11:47 PM.

The Ability to Read Minds was the previous entry in this blog.

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