What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease – Plaques, tangles, causes, symptoms & pathology

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common type of dementia which typically affects the elderly with an accelerated declination in their cognitive function. There are more than 40 million people worldwide who are currently suffering from AD. AD patients will eventually develop symptoms like memory loss, inability to think or reason and some behavioral changes. AD normally affects old people where microscopic examination of brain tissues reveals decreased amount of neurons with an existence of beta-amyloid plaques and tau protein tangles collections. Signs such as poor decision making and judgment, frequent unawareness to the date, unable to conduct a proper conversation or recover misplaced items are linked to AD.

Besides, AD patients will have neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) like agitation or hyperactivity, apathy or lack of motivation, depression, psychosis and sleeping disorders. Family history, old age, genetic factors, vascular and metabolic disorders, sedentary lifestyle, unbalanced diet, traumatic brain injury and level of education are a few risk factors that contribute to ADdevelopment. Early detection of the cognitive condition of elderly if dementia is associated allows treatment to be initiated at an early stage where prognosis is better. Currently, there are different techniques such as laboratory tests and psychological measurements in detecting or screening for dementia at early stages. The objective of this review is to allow a better understanding of AD, early detection, and its preventive measurements.