Alzheimer's Disease (Alzheimer's or Alzheimer) is a type of Dementia and it is the most common type of dementia. It is not a normal or regular part of aging and currently there is no known cure for Alzheimer's.
It is a degenerative brain disease that negatively affects an individual's memory, thinking, language, judgment and behavior. In addition to losing all memory of people, places and events a person with Alzheimer's will eventually lose the ability to walk and talk as well as the ability to bathe and feed himself or herself.
The causes of Alzheimer's are not fully understood but it appears that abnormal amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles play a role in the death of a brain's nerve cells (neurons) which have negative effects on an individual's brain functions. The plaques build up between the nerve cells and the tangles within the nerve cells.
In recent years billions of dollars have been spent on research to try and determine the extent to which genetics and other factors cause Alzheimer's. In most discussions medical professionals distinguish between early-onset and late-onset Alzheimer's Disease.
Early-onset Alzheimer's Disease occurs before the age of 60 or 65 and represents less than 5 percent of all people who have Alzheimer's. Some cases of early-onset Alzheimer's have no known cause, but most cases are inherited and are known as familial Alzheimer's Disease. Familial Alzheimer's Disease is caused by any one of a number of different mutations in 3 genes - the amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin 1 and presenilin 2 genes.
Most cases (about 95%) of Alzheimer's Disease are considered late-onset and usually develop after the age of 60 or 65. The causes of late-onset Alzheimer's Disease are not yet fully understood, but most research indicates that they include a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
A change in an individual's behavior might appear to some as Alzheimer's Disease but it may be another form of dementia which can be reversed. Only a competent medical professional should attempt to diagnose the causes of an individual's change in behavior.
There are two types of medications or drugs that are currently prescribed to most people with Alzheimer's Disease but both treat only the symptoms of the disease and are not cures. Cholinesterase inhibitors affect the level of a chemical called acetylcholine in the brain and Memantine affects the level of of glutamate, a chemical messenger in the brain.
Research on new medications and the testing of new drugs is ongoing and there are currently over 100 trials for treatments and medications for Alzheimer's and dementia.
We select videos that can be watched for free and online. These videos provide reports and discussions about the most recent information learned about Alzheimer's Disease - the causes, brain aging, genetics, early detection, social behavior, diagnosis and treatment, new drugs and medications, prevention and more.
Some videos are relatively short (under 20 minutes) and cover a very specific subject - like how Alzheimer's spreads from brain cell to brain cell. Other Selected Videos are longer (50 minutes or more) and cover multiple aspects of Alzheimer's - like a basic explanation of how the brain works, an explanation of brain aging and Alzheimer's, followed by a discussion of research results relating to the causes and potential medications for Alzheimer's Disease.