Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia Treatment News and Information

Alzheimer’s Disease Signs and Symptoms Information

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a form of dementia which is characterized by difficulties in thinking, memory, reasoning, learning, decision-making and speed in processing information. Researchers estimate that 60 to 80 percent of people with dementia have Alzheimer’s disease and that 66 percent of the people with the disease are women.

It’s often been said that early detection is the best medicine, and when it comes to treating diseases and conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia, the saying definitely holds true.  It is important to pay attention to symptoms, however minor they may seem, as they could be the first signs of disease. In many cases, knowing the early warning signs of dementia can help identify the disease and help lead to better treatment options.

Many symptoms are common to many different types of diseases and conditions, such as unexplained weight loss, fatigue, etc. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing so that a proper diagnosis can be made, and if necessary, you can begin treatment.

If you are experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease, consult with your doctor to identify what may be causing your symptoms. Advancements in diagnosing and treating Alheimer’s disease are occurring on a regular basis thanks to ongoing research being conducted at major medical research universities and institutions around the world. 

Alzheimer’s symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Usually, family and friends are the first to notice signs of Alzheimer’s. A common early sign of the disease is the inability to retain information just learned, as Alzheimer’s typically begins in the part of the brain that affects learning. As Alzheimer’s progresses, people may be confused about events, time and place. They may also have difficulty trusting people and have some trouble with walking, talking or swallowing. However, to make a definitive diagnosis, a doctor may do a brain scan, blood and urine tests; test a person’s memory and learning ability; and question family and friends.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, other warning signs of the disease are:

  • Trouble making conversation
  • Misplacing items and being unable to mentally backtrack to try to find out where they are
  • Inability to manage personal finances
  • Memory loss
  • Inability to manage daily life
  • Mood changes
  • Alienation from friends and family
  • Poor decision-making
  • Problems forming words in speech and writing
  • Trouble with visual and spatial image

Types of Dementia:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Vascular dementia
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB)
  • Mixed dementia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Alzheimer’s Disease Facts:

  • 1 in 3 Seniors dies with some form of dementia
  • Almost 2/3 of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women
  • Only 45% of people with Alzheimer’s disease are informed of their diagnosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in in U.S.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed
  • By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million if a method of prevention or cure is not found

 

Lewy Body Dementia Signs and Symptoms Information

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, accounting for up to 20 percent of dementia cases worldwide. The Lewy Body Dementia Association estimates that the disease affects some 1.4 million individuals and their families in the United States. This form of dementia shares characteristics with both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and the term “Lewy Body Dementia” actually refers to both Parkinson’s disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. The earliest symptoms of these two diseases differ, but reflect the same underlying biological changes in the brain. Over time, people with both diagnoses will develop similar cognitive, physical, sleep, and behavioral symptoms.

Lewy Body Dementia Symptoms 

Since Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) symptoms resemble other diseases, it can be especially challenging to diagnose correctly. Every person with LBD is different and will manifest different degrees of the following symptoms:

  • Mental decline
  • Recurrent visual hallucinations or depression
  • Changes in thinking and reasoning
  • Increasing problems handling the tasks of daily living
  • Repeated falls and fainting
  • Confusion and alertness that varies significantly from one time of day to another
  • Motor problems such as slow movement, poor balance, hunched posture, shuffling walk, stiff limbs, or tremors
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and acting out dreams (sometimes violently)
  • Malfunctions of the autonomic nervous system

See below for updated news and information regarding Alzheimer’s Disease including new medical research, treatments and advancements. 

Alzheimer's & Dementia News

Alzheimer’s Research News: Sniffing out New Strategy Against Alzheimer’s Disease

(SOURCE: RUSH UNIVERSITY) - Can insulin, the hormone used for nearly a century to treat diabetes, improve cognition, memory and daily function in people with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease? Rush University Medical Center is testing this innovative potential treatment as part of a new nationwide study. Neurologists at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center are ...
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Alzheimer’s News: Improving memory with magnets

(SOURCE: McGill University) - Discovery expands our understanding of how we remember sound The ability to remember sounds, and manipulate them in our minds, is incredibly important to our daily lives — without it we would not be able to understand a sentence, or do simple arithmetic. New research is shedding light on how sound memory works, and is even demonstrating ...
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Dementia Research News: Mayo Clinic researchers find mental activities may protect against mild cognitive impairment

(SOURCE: MAYO CLINIC) - Mayo Clinic researchers have found that engaging in mentally stimulating activities, even late in life, may protect against new-onset mild cognitive impairment, which is the intermediate stage between normal cognitive aging and dementia. The study found that cognitively normal people 70 or older who engaged in computer use, craft activities, social activities and playing games had a ...
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Dementia News: Can Mushrooms Help Delay or Prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease?

(SOURCE: MARY ANN LIEBERT, INC./GENETIC ENGINEERING NEWS) - Certain edible and medicinal mushrooms contain bioactive compounds that may enhance nerve growth in the brain and protect against neurotoxic stimuli such as inflammation that contribute to neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The evidence supporting a potential role of mushrooms as functional foods to reduce or delay development of age-related neurodegeneration is ...
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Alzheimer’s Research News: In Alzheimer’s, Excess Tau Protein Damages Brain’s GPS

(SOURCE: COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER) - Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have discovered that the spatial disorientation that leads to wandering in many Alzheimer’s disease patients is caused by the accumulation of tau protein in navigational nerve cells in the brain. The findings, in mice, could lead to early diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s and highlight novel targets for treating this common ...
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Alzheimer’s Research: Can paint strokes help identify Alzheimer’s?

(SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL) - A new University of Liverpool study published in ‘Neuropsychology!’ shows that it may be possible to detect neurodegenerative disorders in artists before they are diagnosed. Psychologist Dr Alex Forsythe from the University’s School of Psychology and her team, working with Dr Tamsin Williams of Tees, Esk, and Wear Valleys NHS Trust, Vale of York and Maynooth University, ...
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Alzheimer’s Research News: Penn Study Confirms That “Sniff Test” May Be Useful in Diagnosing Early Alzheimer’s Disease

(SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE) - Tests that measure the sense of smell may soon become common in neurologists’ offices. Scientists have been finding increasing evidence that the sense of smell declines sharply in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and now a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania published today in the ...
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Alzheimer’s Disease Research News: Study details molecular roots of Alzheimer’s

(SOURCE: WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE) - Cellular 'housekeeping' molecule’s structure linked to neurodegeneration. A new study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis details the structure of TREM2, a protein involved in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Researchers found that mutations associated with Alzheimer's alter the surface of the protein, while mutations linked to another brain disorder disrupt ...
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Alzheimer’s Disease Research: New biomarker predicts Alzheimer’s Disease and link to diabetes

(SOURCE: IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY) - An enzyme found in the fluid around the brain and spine is giving researchers a snapshot of what happens inside the minds of Alzheimer’s patients and how that relates to cognitive decline.  Iowa State University researchers say higher levels of the enzyme, autotaxin, significantly predict memory impairment and Type 2 diabetes. Just a one-point difference in ...
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Dementia Research News: Protein in Urine Linked to Increased Risk of Memory Problems, Dementia

(SOURCE: AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NEUROLOGY) - People who have protein in their urine, which is a sign of kidney problems, may also be more likely to later develop problems with thinking and memory skills or even dementia, according to a meta-analysis published in the December 14, 2016, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The researchers ...
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