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Govt urged to halt Alzheimer's study

WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A consumer group Wednesday called for the federal government to halt a study examining whether common painkiller drugs can prevent Alzheimer's disease because the group claims the drugs used in the trial have been shown to be ineffective.

Heston may have Alzheimer's disease

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Oscar-winning actor Charlton Heston announced Friday that he has been diagnosed with "a neurological disorder whose symptoms are consistent with Alzheimer's disease." The 78-year old star of "Ben-Hur" and "The Ten Commandments" said he will continue worki

New Alzheimer's scan: key to prevention?

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, July 21 (UPI) -- Brain researchers report by using high-tech brain scans and computer simulations, they now are able to detect subtle, almost invisible changes in brain function 40 years before those changes begin to cause the memory lapses, confusion and dementia associa

Test may predict who will get Alzheimer's

PHILADELPHIA, June 14 (UPI) -- A new urine test can predict patients who may go on to develop Alzheimer's disease, which may enable physicians to begin treating people at risk before they develop irreversible brain damage from the illness, researchers said.

Brain scan shows who will get Alzheimer's

TAMPA, Fla., May 28 (UPI) -- An MRI scan of the brain may predict who will develop Alzheimer's disease years and even decades before dementia or any other symptoms of the disease appear, researchers reported Tuesday.

Alzheimer's vaccine effective in mice

INDIANAPOLIS, April 7 (UPI) -- Researchers reported Sunday a single injection of an experimental Alzheimer's vaccine improved memory in mice that genetically altered to mimic the disease. The vaccine targets a soluble peptide called beta-amyloid, which forms the building blocks for a h

Blood test may help predict Alzheimer's

ST. LOUIS, March 21 (UPI) -- A novel blood test can detect plaque buildup in the brains of mice, suggesting a possible new way to predict Alzheimer's disease, according to a study released Thursday. The plaque is the key indicator used in diagnosing Alzheimers, for which there is no

Chemists trick Alzheimer's enzyme

LA JOLLA, Calif., March 15 (UPI) -- Chemists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla said Friday they have tricked an enzyme essential in Alzheimer's disease into blocking its own debilitating action. A team led by Nobel laureate K. Barry Sharpless developed "click chemistry" to make

Researchers find disease onset gene

DURHAM, N.C., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Duke University scientists say they have discovered a region of chromosomes that could be responsible for triggering the onset of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Previous research on genetics could indicate whether an individual was predisposed to a

Painkillers may thwart Alzheimer's protein

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Studies of mice and cells indicate some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may thwart a protein whose harmful effects are the hallmarks of Alzheimer's diseas

Gene, head size Alzheimer's risks

TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The size of a person's head may prove to be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study from the University of South Florida. People who hav
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Photos
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)
Wiki

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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