Alzheimer's a growing disease

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Alzheimer's effects over 35 million people worldwide. The disease currently has no known cure and people that have it can lose all of their mental faculties over time. In a Special report for Reuters Julie Steenhuysen discusses the difficulty in detecting Alzheimers in people who do not show symptoms of memory problems and cognitive abilities. Today there is only one form of Alzheimer's that can be detected by diagnostic testing, it is called dominantly inherited Alzheimer's disease which is detected by discovering a mutation in one of three genes: amyloid precursor protein, presenilin 1, or presenilin 2. As is though this form of Alzheimer's effects only 1% of all Alzheimer's patients. For all other forms Alzheimer's is almost impossible to detect before symptoms arise. Scientists are currently looking for signs of Alzheimer's in peoples cerebrospinal fluid by analyzing known Alzheimer's related proteins such as beta amyloid, which forms sticky plaques in the brain and tau which is a marker of cell damage. These proteins however are only associated with Alzheimer's and are not a significant enough alone to detect the disease. Until scientists can discover what actually causes the disease it will be impossible to create a cure. This also means that prevention is virtually impossible for now because the cause is unknown. The best thing people can do in my mind is live a healthy lifestyle and if you have a family history of Alzheimer's be prepared for possible outcomes. Also watch out for signs such as short term and long term memory loss, speech impairment, and other signs of memory and cognitive problems. Sadly the disease is only growing due in large part that people are living longer lives, but there is hope since 1997 when aracept was first produced new drugs have become available that help slow the progress of Alzheimer's but results differ in all people. These drugs and there ability to help some Alzheimer's patients present evidence that scientists are beginning to focus in on the real causes of a terrible disease.

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A horrible disease. That is amazing that that many people suffer from it...Mind blowing, a very bad kind of way. My grandma had this disease, so I know the effects. Very horrible, and one of the worst things that can happen to a person. It is also too bad that scientists have no idea what causes it; that makes it that much tougher to solve. But getting the word out helps, so this was a good post that could potentially help people.

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This page contains a single entry by conra120 published on March 4, 2012 4:36 PM.

Erasing Memories: Is it possible? was the previous entry in this blog. did it happen again? is the next entry in this blog.

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