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.

Study: A jump in Alzheimer's by 2050

CHICAGO, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A new study has dramatically increased the number of Americans expected to suffer from Alzheimers disease by 2050.

Drug companies race against memory loss

NEW YORK, July 29 (UPI) -- Pharmaceutical companies are investigating dozens of compounds to help people who have memory problems due to Alzheimer''s disease. Much of the excitement among pharmaceutical companies stems from advances in clarifying some of the brain processes and bio

Eating fish may cut risk of Alzheimer's

CHICAGO, July 21 (UPI) -- New research indicates eating fish, nuts and oil-based salad dressings may reduce one's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Obesity is linked with Alzheimer's disease

WASHINGTON, July 14 (UPI) -- A new study released Monday shows overweight elderly people are more likely to suffer Alzheimer's disease than thin people.

Psychiatric drug may thwart Alzheimer's

PHILADELPHIA, May 21 (UPI) -- A drug used to treat manic depression could provide a one-of-a-kind, two-punch treatment against Alzheimer's disease, scientists said Wednesday.

Alzheimer's linked to magnets in brain

STOKE-ON-TRENT, England, April 14 (UPI) -- Researchers have found tiny magnets embedded in brain cells that appear to be linked to Alzheimer's disease.

Supplement fails to ease Alzheimer's

SAN FRANCISCO, April 7 (UPI) -- New research released Monday suggests an over-the-counter dietary supplement has proved to be useless in treating Alzheimer's disease patients.

Drug slows progression of Alzheimer's

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2 (UPI) -- Researchers said Wednesday a new drug is effective in stalling the progression of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease.

Painkillers can thwart Alzheimer's

LOS ANGELES, March 12 (UPI) -- California researchers reported Wednesday over-the-counter painkillers may dissolve the brain lesions that characterize, and promote, Alzheimer's disease.

New test can diagnose Alzheimer's

SYDNEY, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- An Australian neuroscientist has developed a simple skin test for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

HRT might reduce Alzheimer's risk

BALTIMORE, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- A new study suggests hormone replacement therapy does protect women from developing Alzheimer's disease, but to be effective the treatment must be applied during a limited and as-yet-undefined period of time, researchers reported Tuesday.

New approach blocks Alzheimer's in mice

TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Scientists at the University of South Florida reported Monday they have developed a novel treatment that stops Alzheimer's disease in mice.

Estrogen could worsen Alzheimer's

TUCSON, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Postmenopausal women suffering from Alzheimer's disease taking estrogen could worsen their memory loss, a new study released Sunday suggests.

Potential Alzheimer's vaccine gets boost

ZURICH, Switzerland, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Prospects for a vaccine to treat Alzheimer's disease got a shot in the arm Sunday as Swiss and Canadian researchers reported encouraging results from new studies.
Page 24 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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