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Alzheimer's disease

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Alzheimer's disease

  1. 1. INTRODUCTION Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative brain disorder of unknown etiology which is the most common form of dementia, that usually starts in late middle age or in old age, results in progressive memory loss, impaired thinking, disorientation, and changes in personality and mood. There is degeneration of brain neurons especially in the cerebral cortex and presence of neurofibrillary tangles and plaques containing beta-amyloid cells
  2. 2. Origin of Alzheimer's Disease The disease was first described by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German physician, in 1906. Alzheimer had a patient named Auguste D, in her fifties who suffered from what seemed to be a mental illness. But when she died in 1906, an autopsy revealed dense deposits, now called neuritic plaques, outside and around the nerve cells in her brain. Inside the cells were twisted strands of fiber, or neurofibrillary tangles. Since Dr. Alois Alzheimer's was the first person who discovered the disease, AD was named after him. Auguste D
  3. 3. Meaning  Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic, irreversible disease that affects the cells of the brain and causes impairment of intellectual functioning.  Alzheimer's disease is a brain disorder which gradually destroys the ability to reason, remember, imagine, and learn.
  4. 4. Comparison of a normal aged brain (left) and an Alzheimer's patient's brain (right). Differential characteristics are pointed out.
  5. 5. INCIDENCE  About 3 percent of men and women ages 65 to 74 have AD, and nearly half of those age 85 and older may have the disease.  About 3,60,000 new cases of Alzheimer’s are diagnosed each year.
  6. 6. CAUSES The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not known. However, several factors are thought to be implicated in this disease.
  7. 7. 1. NEUROCHEMICAL FACTORS a) Acetylcholine. b) Somatostatin. c) Substance P. d) Norepinephrine
  8. 8. 2.ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS • Cigarette smoking. • Certain Infections. • Metals, industrial or other toxins. • Use of cholesterol lowering drugs (statin).
  9. 9. 3 . GENETIC AND IMMUNOLOGICAL FACTORS Oxidized LDL receptor 1 and Angiotensin 1-converting enzyme, are tied to the way the brain cells bind to Apolipoprotein4 (APOE4) and reduce buildup of harmful proteins, known as plaques, in the brain, respectively.
  10. 10. RISK FACTORS a) Down's syndrome. b) Family History. c) Chronic high BP. d) Head injuries. e) Gender. f) Smoking and Drinking
  11. 11. PATHOPHYSIOLOGY • Alzheimer's disease attacks nerves and brain cells as well as neurotransmitters. • The destruction of these parts causes clumps of protein to form around the brain's cells. These clumps are known as 'plaques' and 'bundles'. The presence of the 'plaques' and 'bundles' start to destroy more connections between the brain cells, which makes the condition worse.
  13. 13. Microscopy image of a neurofibrillary tangle, conformed by hyperphosphorylated tau protein
  14. 14. • Enzymes act on the APP (amyloid precursor protein) and cut it into fragments. The beta-amyloid fragment is crucial in the formation of senile plaques in AD
  15. 15. In Alzheimer's disease, changes in tau protein lead to the disintegration of microtubules in brain cells.
  16. 16. SIGNS Ten warning signs of Alzheimer's disease 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) Memory loss Difficulty to performing familiar tasks Problems with language Disorientation to time and place Poor or decreased judgment Problems with abstract thinking Misplacing things Changes in mood or behavior Changes in personality Loss of initiative
  17. 17. SYMPTOMS • Confusion • disturbances in short-term memory • problems with attention and spatial orientation • personality changes • language difficulties • unexplained mood swings
  18. 18. Diagnostic tests • Psychiatric assessments. • Mental status examination and neuro psychological assessment. • Laboratory tests. • Brain imaging . * CT scan * MRI * PET * SPECT • CSF Examination • Electro-encephalogram (EEG) • Electromyogram
  19. 19. PET scan of the brain of a person with AD showing a loss of function in the temporal lobe
  20. 20. Pharmacological intervention • Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors -prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a chemical messenger important for learning and memory eg. Donepezil (Aricept) Rivastigmine (Exelon) Galantamine (Razadyne
  21. 21. N-Methyl d-aspartate Receptor Antagonist (NMDA) • Eg:Memantine – blocks the NMDA receptor and inhibit their overstimulation by glutamate (neurotransmitter) • • • • Antidepressents. Anxiolytics. Antipsychotics. Anticonvulsants
  22. 22. Psychosocial intervention • Behavioral approach • Emotion oriented approach -Remnisence therapy -Validation therapy -supportive psychotherapy -sensory integration -stimulated presence therapy • Cognition oriented approach • Stimulation oriented approach snoezelen;
  23. 23. Caregiving Since Alzheimer's has no cure and it gradually renders people incapable of tending for their own needs, caregiving essentially is the treatment and must be carefully managed over the course of the disease
  24. 24. Prognosis • The early stages of Alzheimer's disease are difficult to diagnose. A definitive diagnosis is usually made once cognitive impairment compromises daily living activities, although the person may still be living independently. He will progress from mild cognitive problems, such as memory loss through increasing stages of cognitive and non-cognitive disturbances, eliminating any possibility of independent living. • Life expectancy of the population with the disease is reduced. The mean life expectancy following diagnosis is approximately seven years. Fewer than 3% of patients live more than fourteen years. Disease features significantly associated with reduced survival are an increased severity of cognitive impairment, decreased functional level, history of falls, and disturbances in the neurological examination.
  25. 25. • Other coincident diseases such as heart problems, diabetes or history of alcohol abuse are also related with shortened survival. While the earlier the age at onset the higher the total survival years, life expectancy is particularly reduced when compared to the healthy population among those who are younger. Men have a less favourable survival prognosis than women. • The disease is the underlying cause of death in 70% of all cases.Pneumonia and dehydration are the most frequent immediate causes of death, while cancer is a less frequent cause of death than in the general population.