AGING CONDITIONS: ALZHEIMERS
Age Related Memory Decline
The likelihood of developing memory loss increases
with age. In its mildest form, age associated memory
impairment, is characterised by self perception of
memory loss. This can be confirmed by a standard
memory test score showing a relative decline in objective
performance compared with younger adults.
About 40% of people aged 65 or older in the USA have
age associated memory impairment. Only about 1% of them
will progress to dementia each year.
Mild Cognitive Impairment
The next stage is mild cognitive impairment. This
is a more severe form of memory loss and is often defined
by important memory deficits without functional impairments.
Although patients with mild cognitive impairment are
able to continue to live independently, they show objective
memory impairments similar to those seen in people with
very mild Alzheimer's disease.
About 10% of people aged 65 years or older have mild
cognitive impairment, and nearly 15% of them develop
Alzheimer's disease each year.
The severest form of mental decline is termed dementia,
as in Alzheimers. It can be defined as impairment in
several cognitive domains including memory to the extent
that it interferes with daily life.
more help on memory loss with age.
Causes of Alzheimers
As people live longer, the risk for developing Alzheimer's
disease increases dramatically. Although it is the most
common cause of late life dementia, other causes, particularly
vascular disease, contribute to the occurrence of dementia.
Not everyone is destined to develop Alzheimer's disease,
and genetic predisposition explains only some of the
risk for the disease. Thus, lifestyle choices may be
important in disease risk and prevention.
Recent findings about possible non-genetic factors
contributing to brain health suggest several practical
strategies that may decelerate brain ageing and delay
onset of dementia.
more on causes of Alzheimers
Treatment of Alzheimers
For milder cases of mental
decline, nutritional supplements
have proven effective for many.
Some treatments under investigation but not proved
to prevent Alzheimer's disease:
- Cholinesterase inhibitor drugs
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
In April, 2005 reports of studies promising successful
treatment of Alzheimers using Injections of genetically
altered cells into the brain. These cells appear to
nourish ailing neurons and may slow the cognitive decline
in patients with Alzheimer's disease, scientists reported
yesterday in a preliminary study.
To read the full article on this study.
Information On Treating Alzheimers
news and updates on treatments for alzheimers
There are several behavioural factors that contribute
to mental decline
The risk of developing Alzheimer's disease is lower
in people who have been intellectually active than in
those who have not. Studies also indicate that higher
mental function in one's 20s predicts better cognitive
function late in life. People who spend time reading
and who have mentally stimulating jobs or educational
experiences maintain their memories better and longer
as they age. Other studies have shown that college graduates
have a lower risk of eventually developing Alzheimer's
disease than people with less educational achievement.
Mental Performance WIth Brain Teasers
Previous head trauma with loss of consciousness for
an hour or more doubles the risk for developing Alzheimer's
disease later in life. A study comparing amateur soccer
players in their mid-20s and swimmers and runners [less
likely to incur head injuries] of the same age found
that over 30% of the soccer players had memory impairments,
compared with less than 10% of the swimmers and runners.
One study found that smokers had double the risk of
getting Alzheimer's disease of people who never smoked.
However, when people
at whatever age, they are able to reduce their risk.
more help to quit smoking