Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia that affects over 70% of all people with dementia. Alzheimer’s affects mostly old people with 3 in every 10 people having dementia. It damages the brain resulting in impaired memory.
Alzheimer’s disease can be either sporadic or familial.
Sporadic Alzheimer’s disease can affect adults at any age, but usually occurs after age 65 and is the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease.
Familial Alzheimer’s disease is a very rare genetic condition that is caused by a mutation in one of several genes. The presence of mutated genes means that the person will eventually develop Alzheimer’s disease, usually in their 40’s or 50’s.
Effects on Alzheimer’s disease on the brain
The outer part of the brain is usually the first area that is affected by the disease. Alzheimer’s disease causes the shrinking of the outer layer of the brain or cortex which is involved in memory, language and judgment leading to death of the brain cells.
Alzheimer’s disease also deposits plagues and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. These plagues impair synapses so signals cannot be transferred between the brain cells.
Symptoms usually vary from person to person as the disease progresses and different areas of the brain are affected.
Some of the symptoms that usually affect individuals include:-
Short-term memory– Short term memory loss this is the first symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and as the disease progresses, long-term memory is also lost.
Other symptoms may include:
- Unpredictability of emotions
- Frequent memory loss
- Forgetting people’s names or faces
- Deterioration of social skills