Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that afflicts one in ten Americans aged 65 years and older. It is the most common form of dementia that manifests as difficulty in cognition, memory, and reasoning.
Since 1989, the number of deaths from the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease has risen eight-nine percent and it has become the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. (1) There is no known cure. Make no mistake: Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging.
More on Alzheimer’s
Contrary to popular belief, Alzheimer’s and similar diseases aren’t “common illnesses”.
They occur when abnormal protein deposits form in the brain, hampering inter-cellular communication and causing neuronal death. As cells die, the brain shrinks and proper functioning becomes impossible. (2)
The cause of Alzheimer’s is unknown.
Why certain proteins begin to accumulate on the brain hasn’t been determined. Once plaque begins to form, its affects on the brain worsen over time. (3)
Risk factors include(4):
- Older age
- Down’s syndrome
- chronically high LDL cholesterol
- cardiovascular disease and hypertension
- head injury
- smoking cigarettes
While there is no one cause, there are ways to decrease risk and alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) through lifestyle and diet.
See also: preventing Alzheimer’s