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Degenerative Brain Diseases
A combination of herbal and homeopathic remedies can support the brain and mental health.

Supports brain health and memory functioning and help with the common forgetfulness associated with aging.

Alzheimer's and Dementia -- Natural Health Information

Alzheimer’s disease, a common form of dementia, is a progressive brain disease that eventually leads to death. Firstly it had been described by a German Psychiatrist named Alois Alzheimer. The most common incidence of this disease is in people who are above the age of 65. Although the disease tends to develop and progress differently in different people, but still there are some common symptoms which can be observed in all of them. As of the year 2006, there were about 27 million suffering from this disease all over the world.

The early effectuations and symptoms of this disease are mistaken to the influences of age and stress related issues. The diagnosis of this disease is confirmed by making use of several psychological and medical tests including the FMRI scan which gives a clear image of the influenced areas. In terms of the etiology of the disease, nothing can be said for sure. Most of the research which has been carried out in this regard has shown that the disease occurs due to the formation of plaques and tangles in various brain regions.

The disease has been classified into four different categories and stages. All these stages are marked for their progressive patterns of cognitive as well as functional impairments.

One of the first symptoms of this disease are often confused or mistakenly taken to be the age related symptoms, but through the conduction of some detailed neuropsychological testing, the presence of this disease can be confirmed. There is a specific diagnostic criteria which should be followed for the confirmation of the disease and its specific stage. The early symptoms include minor levels of losses in short term memory, confusing things, minor levels of speech impairment and some others.

In the patients suffering from AD, a significant impairment in the learning as well as memory helps in making a definitive diagnosis about this disease. In some small portions of them, deficiencies and difficulties in executive functions, motor control-apraxia, perception-agnosia and speech impairment are more prominent that all others. The older memories including the episodic and semantic memory are effectuated to lower level or degree.

The problems which the person experiences in terms of the language are marked by a shrinking vocabulary, word fluency and written language. In terms of this stage, the people with AD are able to communicate while using basic forms of language. In other words, they are still able to communicate their basic ideas. As the disease tends to worsen, people with AD would be able to perform all of their tasks independently, but will still need some form of assistance in one form or the other.
The progressive levels of deterioration tend to influence all independent functions due to which the subjects are less able to carry out their daily activities.

With the passage of time, the speech difficulties get more and more visible, thus leading to a frequent paraphasias-also referred to as incorrect word substitutions. Moreover, the motor sequences also become less coordinated as the person progresses into the disease. During this specific phase, the memory problems grow more worse due to which the person might fail in the recognition of the familiar people. That’s not all, as the long term memory, which was previously seen to be intact, also gets impaired.
As this stage is the final and the most severe one, all the symptoms are the worst ever in this stage.

This is the reason for which the patient is completely dependent upon the caregivers. Despite of a severe loss in motor, language and cognitive abilities, the person might still be able to convey some distinct emotional reactions. Due to the loss of the muscle mass, most of them lose their ability to feed themselves. As AD is known to be a terminal disease, the death of the patient most of the times occurs due to an external factor including the infections, pressure ulcers, pneumonia.

The exact causes of the disease are still unknown, but there are some hypothesis which are able to provide an explanation in this regard. This hypothesis states that AD occurs due to the deficiency in the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It has not managed to gain a wide support, as the medications that improve the acetylcholine synthesis and production have failed to cause an improvement.

This hypothesis had been proposed in the year 1991. It states that the prime cause of AD is a beta-amyloid. The support for this hypothesis comes from the presence of the amyloid protein precursor on the chromosome 21 in addition to the fact that people suffering from the Down syndrome also exhibit AD as the reach the age of 40. In the year 2009, some modification were made in this theory stating that a close relative of the specific protein under discussion might also be the cause of this disease.

In lines to this hypothesis, the varying abnormalities due to the tau protein might be the initiating factor behind the disease cascade. Eventually, they lead to the formation of the neurofibrillary tangles. Research has suggested that among the vast majority of the causal factors, no formal evidence has been found in terms of the role of genes, but there are some gene factors that might be classified as the risk factors. Among the cases, around 0.1 % of them happen to be familial forms and types of autosomal dominant, which cannot be termed as a sex linked inheritance.

Most of the cases of AD seen till now are sporadic which means that the disease has not been inherited genetically. Nevertheless, the varying number of genetic differences might come to act as the risk factors. Around 40 to 80 % of the people with AD have a presence of APOEε4 allele in their different brain regions. The geneticists are of the view here that there are also a number of other genes which might be termed as being the risk factors.

It can be said here that the researches that will be made in the future will lead to some more definitive results. Evidence suggests that the same allele does acts as a factor behind the onset of the disease.
AD is most of the times diagnoses using the clinical history of the patient, through clinical observations, neuropsychological testing and by performing a collateral history analysis of the family members.

Advanced forms of medical imaging including computed tomography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography and other state of the art procedures have advanced the detection methods of AD. Moreover, these devices and procedures also reveal information about the specific stage of the disease.

 In addition, the assessment procedures used to access the intellectual functioning of the patients also help in a further characterization of the specific stage of the disease. Medical organizations and authorities have also set a diagnostic criteria in order to ease and standardize the diagnosis of this disease.

The presence of this disease can also be confirmed through the performance of a post-mortem analysis.
Another latest procedure in terms of the diagnosis involves the analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The fluid is analyzed for the presence of the beta amyloid together with the tau proteins both of which are functional in the onset of the disease.

These proteins are traced using a procedure called a spinal tap which has the potential to detect the onset of AD with a sensitivity level close to 94 to 100 %. The tests for the spinal fluid analysis are now commercially available, but the same is not true for the neuroimaging devices. AD was also detected in those people who showed no symptoms which means that the progress of the disease occurs well before the symptoms start to appear.

Forums About Alzheimer's:

Alzheimer's Disease Online Support Group

Alzheimer's Disease Alternatives Forum - Curing Alzheimer's Disease

Books About Alzheimer's:

Brainrecovery.Com: Powerful Therapy for Challenging Brain Disorders

Smart Nutrients: Prevent and Treat Alzheimer's, Enhance Brain Function

Optimum Nutrition for the Mind

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