Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

What are the causes of Alzheimer ?

If the causes of Alzheimer's disease Although the causes of the disease are not yet established, several avenues can be explored to understand why this disease progressively destroys neurons and leads to problems with memory, language, reason and attention. Although Alzheimer's disease is more common in the elderly, it is not caused by the natural aging of neuronal functions. Let's see what the possible causes of Alzheimer's disease are and how to relieve the affected patients.

What are the known causes of Alzheimer's disease? ?

Alzheimer's disease is named after the German neurologist who discovered it in 1906. The disease is characterized by a progressive loss of memory and language. People suffering from Alzheimer's disease lose all their ability to function time or space cues.

They can no longer recognize faces or everyday objects. It is a highly disabling disease, as much for the patient as for his or her loved ones.

Alzheimer's disease mainly affects the elderly and is the most common form of Alzheimer's disease first cause of dementia. It affects 3% of people aged 65 and up to 15% of people over 80 in France, especially women who have a longer life expectancy.

Among the causes of Alzheimer's disease, heredity plays a role in 1% of cases. It is a defective gene, transmitted at birth, which is at the origin of neuronal degeneration. This so-called familial form of the disease affects people at an earlier age (before 60).

For the 99% of people with Alzheimer's disease, there are several possible causes risk factors come into play in the development of the disease. Age is of course the first risk factor, followed by cardiovascular disease, with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking as the starting point.

What are the known causes of Alzheimer's disease?

Several hypotheses causes of Alzheimer's disease are issued by scientists:

  • L'cholinergic hypothesis Neuronal disorders are due to the decrease of a chemical messenger of the neurons, acetylcholine.
  • L'amyloid hypothesis An abnormal accumulation of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain forms cerebral lesions called amyloid plaques that eventually prevent all communication between neurons.
  • L'the tau protein hypothesis The abnormal accumulation of the tau protein forms neurofibrillary degeneration which eventually leads to the death of the neuron.
  • L'excitotoxic hypothesis This could be due to a too high concentration of glutamate in the brain. This chemical messenger could eventually kill nerve cells.

How to manage people with the disease ?

Until scientists find the real causes of Alzheimer's disease, no treatment will be totally effective.

There are means of prevention such as stimulating intellectual activity, preventing cardiovascular disease or avoiding social isolation of the elderly.

This is the objective of the treatment of patients. Since the disease evolves in stages, it is necessary to preserve the autonomy of the patient as long as possibleautonomy of the patient to slow down the passage of the different stages as much as possible. This translates into the implementation of physical and intellectual activities, psychosocial treatments and the treatment of behavioral disorders such as anxiety, aggressiveness or hallucinations.

How should people with the disease be managed?

The care of the family caregivers is also essential, because it is a disease with heavy consequences for the families, as much from a financial point of view as from a psychological one.

As for the drug treatments, they are not very efficient and often have undesirable effects much more important than the disease itself. Moreover, as the High Authority of Health (HAS) considers that the drugs have no beneficial effect on the disease, they are no longer reimbursed since August 2018.

How long do the affected people live? ?

Alzheimer's disease evolves in stages, from mild to severe. It starts with benign forgetfulness, then goes through cognitive disorders to end up in dementia with a total loss of autonomy. Depending on the age of the patient at the time of diagnosis, the estimated cost of the treatment isLife expectancy of the patient from eight to twelve years.

If illness is not a direct cause of death, infections related to illness, such as pneumonia, considerably reduce their life span.

It is important to diagnose the disease as soon as the first symptoms appear to avoid a too fast progression. Thus, if you or one of your loved ones begin to forget the name of an everyday object, to no longer find their way around, to search for words (aphasia), if certain gestures become difficult to carry out, such as tying one's shoes, etc., make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.