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Alzheimer s (PowerPoint)



An overview of a rapidly growing
   worldwide health concern.
2008 marks the 102nd anniversary of a small medical
meeting in Tübingen, Germany
Physician Alois Alzheimer presented the case of Auguste D.
Alzheimer first saw Auguste in 1901-- she was 51.

Auguste plagued by symptoms that did not fit any known
*rapidly failing memory
*trouble expressing thoughts
*unfounded suspicions about family & hospital staff

is   a progressive and fatal brain disease.

is   the most common form of dementia.

has   no current cure.
Alzheimer's and the Brain

Just like the rest of our bodies, our brains change as
we age.

Most notice slowed thinking & occasional problems
remembering things.

However, serious memory loss, confusion and other
major changes in the way our minds work are not a
normal part of aging.

They may be a sign that brain cells are failing.
The brain has 100 billion nerve cells
Each nerve cell communicates with many
others to form networks.
Nerve cell networks have special jobs.
Some are involved in thinking, learning &
Others help us see, hear & smell.

Still others tell our muscles when to move.
Brain cells operate like tiny factories.

They take in supplies, generate energy,
construct equipment and get rid of waste.

Cells also process & store information.

Keeping everything running requires
coordination as well as large amounts of fuel
and oxygen.
In Alzheimer’s disease, parts of the cell’s
factory stop running well.
Scientists are not sure exactly where the
trouble starts.
But just like a real factory, backups and
breakdowns in one system cause
problems in other areas.
As damage spreads, cells lose their
ability to do their jobs well.
Eventually, they die.
Stage 1: No impairment
Stage 2: Very mild decline
Stage 3: Mild decline
Stage 4: Moderate decline
         (mild or early stage)
Stage 5: Moderately severe decline
         (moderate or mid-stage)
Stage 6: Severe decline
         (moderately severe or mid-stage)
Stage 7: Very severe decline
         (severe or late stage)
From 2000-2004, deaths from
Alzheimer’s disease increased 32.8%

 ~while it’s the number one cause of death--
heart disease--decreased by 8.0 %.

Average survival time: 4-6 years after
     ~but survival can be as long as 20 years
     from first symptoms.
There are now more than 5 million
people in the United States living with

Every 72 seconds, someone develops

The direct and indirect costs of
Alzheimer’s and other dementias
amount to more than $148 billion

Average age of onset 65 -- some cases
as early as 30

10 Warning Signs
1. Memory loss. Forgetting recently learned information
is one of the most common early signs of dementia. A
person begins to forget more often and is unable to recall
the information later.
What's normal? Forgetting names or appointments
2. Difficulty performing familiar tasks. People with
dementia often find it hard to plan or complete everyday
tasks. Individuals may lose track of the steps involved in
preparing a meal, placing a telephone call or playing a
What's normal? Occasionally forgetting why you came
into a room or what you planned to say.
3. Problems with language. People with Alzheimer’s
disease often forget simple words or substitute unusual
words, making their speech or writing hard to
understand. They may be unable to find the toothbrush,
for example, and instead ask for "that thing for my
What's normal? Sometimes trouble finding the right word.
4. Disorientation to time and place. People with
Alzheimer’s disease can become lost in their own
neighborhood, forget where they are and how they got
there, and not know how to get back home.
What's normal? Forgetting the day of the week or where
you were going.

5. Poor or decreased judgment. Those with
Alzheimer’s may dress inappropriately, wearing several
layers on a warm day or little clothing in the cold. They
may show poor judgment, like giving away large sums of
money to telemarketers.
What's normal? Making a questionable or debatable
decision from time to time.

6. Problems with abstract thinking. Someone with
Alzheimer’s disease may have unusual difficulty
performing complex mental tasks, like forgetting what
numbers are for and how they should be used.
What's normal? Challenging to balance a checkbook.
7. Misplacing things. A person with Alzheimer’s
disease may put things in unusual places: an iron in the
freezer or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl.
What's normal? Misplacing keys or a wallet temporarily.
8. Changes in mood or behavior. Someone with
Alzheimer’s disease may show rapid mood swings – from
calm to tears to anger – for no apparent reason.
What's normal? Occasionally feeling sad or moody.
9. Changes in personality. The personalities of people
with dementia can change dramatically. They may
become extremely confused, suspicious, fearful or
dependent on a family member.
What's normal? Personalities do change some w) age.
10. Loss of initiative. A person with Alzheimer’s
disease may become very passive, sitting in front of the
TV for hours, sleeping more than usual or not wanting to
do usual activities.
What's normal? Sometimes feeling weary of work or
social obligations.
   The difference between Alzheimer's and
        normal age-related memory
Someone with Alzheimer's disease Someone with normal age-related
         symptoms                      memory changes
    Forgets entire experiences     Forgets part of an experience
      Rarely remembers later           Often remembers later
  Is gradually unable to follow       Is usually able to follow
    written/spoken directions         written/spoken directions
Is gradually unable to use notes   Is usually able to use notes as
           as reminders                       reminders
 Is gradually unable to care for
                                   Is usually able to care for self

EARLY                  MILD

Football And Progressive Brain Damage: Tom
McHale Of NFL Suffered From Chronic Traumatic
Encephalopathy When He Died In 2008
Antipsychotic Drugs Double Risk Of Death
Among Alzheimer's Patients
Getting Diabetes Before 65 More Than Doubles
Risk For Alzheimer's Disease
Insulin Is A Possible New Treatment For
Science Daily (Feb. 3, 2009)
A Northwestern University-led research team reports
that insulin, by shielding memory-forming synapses
from harm, may slow or prevent the damage and
memory loss caused by toxic proteins in Alzheimer's
The researchers discovered that damage to neurons
exposed to ADDLs (short for "amyloid beta-derived
diffusible ligands") was blocked by insulin, which kept
ADDLs from attaching to the cells.
 <They also found that protection by low levels of insulin was
                enhanced by rosiglitazone>
ADDLs are known to attack memory-forming
synapses. After ADDL binding, synapses lose their
capacity to respond to incoming information, resulting
in memory loss.
A composite image of two neurons.
                              Red (left) shows the
                              attachment of ADDLs to a
                              nerve cell.
                              Green indicates synapses, parts
                              of nerve cells where memory
                              formation begins.
                              When ADDLs are attached,
                              synapses are eliminated.
                              A nerve cell (right) treated
                              with insulin before being
                              exposed to ADDLs.
                              The cell is normal, with high
                              levels of synapses (green) and
                              almost no ADDLs (red) bound
                              to it.

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