What is Alzheimer’s disease?
“Alzheimer’s disease is a disease of the brain where abnormal proteins collect in brain cells. Alzheimer’s disease causes symptoms of dementia such as memory loss, difficulty performing daily activities, and changes in judgement, reasoning, behaviour, and emotions. These dementia symptoms are irreversible, which means that any loss of abilities cannot come back.
Alzheimer’s disease is a common form of dementia; however, there are many others. Other irreversible dementias include vascular dementia (due to strokes), Lewy Body disease, frontotemporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.
These conditions can have similar and overlapping symptoms, and many of them can only be diagnosed with certainty by autopsy of the brain.”
“Other dementias” resemble Alzheimer’s disease in that they also involve a progressive degeneration of brain cells that is currently irreversible. There are many different types of dementia, although some are far more common than others.
- Young onset dementia
- Mild Cognitive Impairment
- Vascular dementia
- Mixed dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
- Lewy body dementia
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
- Down syndrome
- Rarer forms of dementia
A small percentage of dementias are reversible, occurring as a secondary development in treatable conditions. Toxic reactions to prescription or over the counter medications are the most common cause of reversible dementia. Others include dietary or vitamin B12 deficiencies, infections, tumours, alcoholism, inflammatory states, hormonal dysfunction, environmental toxins, drug abuse, and depression.
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