Did you know that Alzheimer can be triggered by mostly chronic stress from middle to old age? Find all about Alzheimer’s diseases.

 

Alzheimer is an irreversible and progressive mental destruction that can occur in middle or old age, due to generalized degeneration of the brain.it is generally a sign of both memory and cognitive abilities loss which interfere with daily life. This is becoming a typical amnesia where a person tend to forget many information at work, at home and even his personal information.

This degenerative brain disease is the most form of dementia with idiopathic causes and starts with abnormal progressive memory loss, impaired thinking, disconnection of information circuit retrieval in the mind, disorientation, mood and personality changes which is marked by brain neurons degeneration, mostly in the cerebral cortex.

We can see other type of dementia which are: Parkinson’s dementia, Lewy body dementia, fronto-temporal disorders, and vascular dementia. People may have mixed dementia which is a combination of two or more disorders, at least one of which is dementia. For instance some patient may present both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Stress a changeable risk factor of Alzheimer diseases (AD)

Many researchers suggest that stress can be the source of dementia. As it starts by increasing cortisol and changing the physiological body functions, jeopardize the immune system and causing serious problems such as depression and Post traumatic syndrome disorders (PTSD), if becoming chronic stress. 60% of people who have chronic stress may develop Dementia.

Severe stress which last chronically to the person can damage the brain in the middle age (early Forties) and potentially lead to the dementia.

A Canadian Pyschologist Dr Linda  Mah said that chronic stress is one of the cause of shrinking of parts of the brain called hippocampus and prefrontal cortex(PFC) associated with degeneration and brain impaired function due to stress.

As suggested by Dr Nima Kiyipelto from Finland that patients with high cortisol and hypertension are threefold likely to have Alzheimer’s Diseases than patients free of such symptoms.

Other factors

  • Lifestyle factors
  • Environmental factors
  • Head injury

The unchanged factors are on the base of developing the brain degeneration.

  • Aging
  • Genetic and Family history
  • Ethnicity
  • Down syndrome Alzheimer start in thirties and forties.
  • Personal history which is part which encompasses much events occurred in the life of the person ( diseases events, some vascular and heart problems, diet smoking, sedentary etc)

Changes in the brain

By the capacity of imaging examinations some changes are operated within the brain. These abnormal changes such as: amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and associated synaptic dysfunction and neuronal loss, start many years before the manifestation of clinical symptoms to the patients.

Early detection biomarkers

The early detection biomarkers are intended to discover the diseases before it scattered around the brain. These biomarkers are made by two organization as seen in table below:

Biomarkers used to define Alzheimer’s disease (AD)

IWG-2

NIA-AA

Pathophysiological markers

↓ Aβ42 together with ↑T-tau or P-tau in CSF

↑ tracer retention on amyloid PET

Topographical markers

AD-like pattern of atrophy on brain MRI

AD-like pattern of hypometabolism on FDG-PET

AD autosomal dominant mutation

PSEN1, PSEN2 or APP

Aβ biomarkers

↓ Aβ42 in CSF

↑ tracer retention on amyloid PET

Markers of neuronal injury

↑ T-tau or P-tau in CSF

AD-like pattern of atrophy on brain MRI

AD-like pattern of hypometabolism on FDG-PET

AD = Alzheimer’s disease; Aβ = amyloid-beta; CSF = cerebrospinal fluid; FDG = fluorodeoxyglucose; IWG = International Working Group; MRI = magnetic resonance imaging; NIA-AA = National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association; PET = positron emission tomography.

Normal Brain and Brain attained by Alzheimer diseases

Signs and symptoms

Having some kind of memory loss does not mean that you have Alzheimer Diseases and this the reason why it is divided into two categories, in is showing Alzheimer’s pathology which is determined by having neurological changes without showing signs and symptoms, second is having Alzheimer’s disease which is marked by the presence of symptoms from the prodromal phase (fist simples signs which indicate that you will soon develop a complicated symptomatic phase) to the dementia phase and ranked from mild, moderate to severe Alzheimer where a patient become totally dependant.

Ten warning signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Diseases

  1. Loss of Memory: forgetting the recent information with incapacity to recall what learned in few minutes. The person starts to more often forget everything without later recall.

Normal state: is sometime forgetting names or occasional appointments.

  1. Problems with language: it is hard to understand the readings, difficulties to make speeches and replace simple words. Example of asking the thing to hold trousers or pants instead of Belt’’

Normal state:  showing sometime difficulties of retrieving the right word.

  1. Familiar task performance reduction: Difficulties to plan and complete daily tasks. Example of forgetting the steps to play a game, preparing food he or she used to do.

Normal state: Sometime forgetting what you planned to say or coming in room to do.

  1. Time and place disorientation: becoming lost in the neighborhood, forgetting where you are, what time and when you reached, what you do there and how to get back home.

Normal state: sometime, slightly forgetting the date or day of the week.

  1. Poor or mediocre judgment: wearing football shoes or work equipment while going to church, or wearing rain coat on the high temperature environment.

Normal state: doing sometime questionable decision may happen.

  1. Abstract Thinking issues: Forgetting the numbers of mental counting or abstract image of something.

Normal state: Find it Difficult for doing an equation.

  1. Misplacing things: a person with Alzheimer’s Disease may keep shoes in the fridge

Normal state: Wallet or keys misplace temporally

  1. Behavior and mood changes: irritability: rapid mood swings, laughing, calm, tears exchange in few minutes of observations.

Normal state: sometime feeling sad or good not in a swinging manner.

  1. Personality changes: Lack of concentration, Exhaustion, start to depend on a family member, having extreme fear, confused, suspicious.

Normal state: Age based personality change

  1. Loss of imitative: becoming very passive, sleeping more than ever, or avoiding to work, watching TV for several hours.

Normal state: occasionally being tired of social or work obligation.

Prevention strategies

  • Find mechanism to fight stress in your regular work
  • Always take health diet
  • Fight obesity and high blood pressure
  • Sporting is an important hint for health which increase the blood flow in the brain and decrease the progressive death of neurons
  • Stop smoking
  • Engage in social life
  • Prevent depression or seek treatment if you have some kind of depression
  • Health sleep
  • Train you brain or search for formal learning on internet or at local school
  • Protect your head because any head injury can be a cause of dementia
  • Spiritual fitness

Reference

James C. Vickers,* Stan Mitew, Adele Woodhouse, Carmen M. Fernandez-Martos, Mathew T. Kirkcaldie, Alison J. Canty, Graeme H. McCormack, and Anna E. King; Defining the Earliest Pathological Changes of Alzheimer’s Disease, Curr Alzheimer Res. 2016 Mar; 13(3): 281–287

Vickers J.C., King A.E., Woodhouse A., Kirkcaldie M.T., Staal J.A., McCormack G.H., et al. Axonopathy and cytoskeletal disruption in degenerative diseases of the central nervous system. Brain Res. Bull. 2010;80:217–223

Pierre Molin, MD, FRCPC1,2 and Kenneth Rockwood, MD, FRCPC, FRCP, The New Criteria for Alzheimer’s Disease – Implications for Geriatricians ,Can Geriatr J. 2016 Jun; 19(2): 66–73

 

 

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