Medicare to cover Alzheimer's brain scan

WASHINGTON, June 17 (UPI) -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed expanding Medicare coverage of positron emission tomography brain scans to diagnose Alzheimer's disease.

Chlamydia, herpes can lead to Alzheimer's

PHILADELPHIA, June 11 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers have found that pathogens such as herpes simplex virus type 1 and Chlamydia could be involved in the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Improved tool found to detect Alzheimer's

DALLAS, May 5 (UPI) -- Texas medical researchers reported Wednesday they have developed a nearly foolproof way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease in living patients.

San Francisco hosts Alzheimer's seminar

SAN FRANCISCO, April 27 (UPI) -- A San Francisco conference of the American Academy of Neurology is highlighting advances in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Cholesterol drug could help Alzheimer's

SUN CITY, Ariz., April 19 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists said people with Alzheimer's disease could benefit from taking a popular cholesterol-lowering medication.

PET scans can help predict Alzheimer's

FLORENCE, Italy, March 12 (UPI) -- Diagnostic tests known as PET scans might be the most accurate method of diagnosing the onset of Alzheimer's disease, Italian researchers said Friday.

Common bacteria linked to Alzheimer's

PHILADELPHIA, March 10 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers said Wednesday they have found a link between the bacteria Chlyamydia pneumoniae and the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease can be photographed

UPPSALA, Sweden, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Researchers at Sweden's Uppsala University announced Tuesday they have developed a technology that will allow early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

Study shows how Alzheimer's drug works

BOSTON, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Massachusetts researchers said they have found new clues to how a drug used to treat Alzheimer's disease works to prevent dementia symptoms.

Testosterone may fight Alzheimer's in men

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A new study suggests men who experience dramatic drops in testosterone levels may be more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease later in life.

Vioxx does not prevent Alzheimer's

SAN JUAN, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A study presented at the meeting of American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in San Juan, Puerto Rico, said Vioxx does not prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Test for risk of Alzheimer's disease

NEW YORK, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- New York University School of Medicine researchers have developed a new technique to identify healthy individuals at risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Different genes play roles in Alzheimer's

DURHAM, N.C., Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A new study indicates the genes that influence the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease may vary over the course of an individual's lifetime.

Drug and vitamin E slow Alzheimer's

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Combining vitamin E and a drug used to treat moderate dementia might slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, a new Ohio State University study reports.

Fake marijuana helps Alzheimer's disease

CHICAGO, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Study results suggest dronabinol, a synthetic version of THC, the active ingredient of marijuana, may reduce agitation for Alzheimer's sufferers.
Page 23 of 25
Alzheimer's Disease
Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D., testifies about Alzheimer's disease before the Senate Special Committee on Aging on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 14, 2008. Tanzi is director of Generics and Aging Research Unit, Mass. General Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and professor of neurology at Harvard University. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg)

Alzheimer's disease (AD), also called Alzheimer disease, Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer Type (SDAT) or simply Alzheimer's, is the most common form of dementia. This incurable, degenerative, and terminal disease was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him. Generally it is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer's can occur much earlier. An estimated 26.6 million people worldwide had Alzheimer's in 2006; this number may quadruple by 2050.

Although each sufferer experiences Alzheimer's in a unique way, there are many common symptoms. The earliest observable symptoms are often mistakenly thought to be 'age-related' concerns, or manifestations of stress. In the early stages, the most commonly recognised symptom is memory loss, such as difficulty in remembering recently learned facts. When a doctor or physician has been notified, and AD is suspected, the diagnosis is usually confirmed with behavioural assessments and cognitive tests, often followed by a brain scan if available. As the disease advances, symptoms include confusion, irritability and aggression, mood swings, language breakdown, long-term memory loss, and the general withdrawal of the sufferer as their senses decline. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Individual prognosis is difficult to assess, as the duration of the disease varies. AD develops for an indeterminate period of time before becoming fully apparent, and it can progress undiagnosed for years. The mean life expectancy following diagnosis is approximately seven years. Fewer than three percent of individuals live more than fourteen years after diagnosis.

The cause and progression of Alzheimer's disease are not well understood. Research indicates that the disease is associated with plaques and tangles in the brain. Currently used treatments offer a small symptomatic benefit; no treatments to delay or halt the progression of the disease are as yet available. As of 2008, more than 500 clinical trials were investigating possible treatments for AD, but it is unknown if any of them will prove successful. Many measures have been suggested for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease, but their value is unproven in slowing the course and reducing the severity of the disease. Mental stimulation, exercise, and a balanced diet are often recommended, as both a possible prevention and a sensible way of managing the disease.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Alzheimer's Disease."
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