Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease (AD), an aw referred tae semply as Alzheimer's, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually stairts slawly an worsens ower time.[1][2] It is the cause o 60–70% of cases o dementia.[1][2] The maist common early symptom is difficulty in rememmerin recent events (short-term memory loss).[1] As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems wi leide, disorientation (includin easily gettin lost), muid swings, loss o motivation, nae managin sel care, an behavioural issues.[1][2] As a person's condition declines, thay eften widraw frae faimily an society.[1] Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leadin tae daith.[10] Awtho the speed o progression can vary, the teepical life expectancy follaein diagnosis is three tae nine years.[7][11]

Alzheimer's disease
SynonymsAlzheimer disease, Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's disease brain comparison.jpg
Comparison o a normal aged harn (left) an the harn o a person wi Alzheimer's (richt). Chairactereestics that separate the twa are pyntit oot.
SymptomsDifficulty in rememmerin recent events, problems wi leid, disorientaition, muid swings[1][2]
Uisual onsetOwer 65 year auld[3]
DurationLang term[2]
CausesPuirly unnerstuid[1]
Risk factorsGenetics, heid injures, depression, hypertension[1][4]
Diagnostic methodBased on symptoms an cognitive testing after rulin oot ither possible causes[5]
Seemilar condeetionsNormal agin[1]
MedicationAcetylcholinesterase inhibitors, NMDA receptor antagonists (smaw benefit)[6]
PrognosisLife expectancy 3–9 years[7]
Frequency29.8 million (2015)[2][8]
Daiths1.9 million (2015)[9]
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The cause o Alzheimer's disease is puirly unnerstuid.[1] Aboot 70% o the risk is believed tae be genetic wi mony genes uisually involved.[4] Ither risk factors include a history o heid injures, depression, or hypertension.[1] The disease process is associatit wi plaques an tangles in the harn.[4] A probable diagnosis is based on the history o the illness an cognitive testing wi medical eemagin an bluid tests tae rule oot ither possible causes.[5] Ineetial symptoms are eften mistaken for normal agein.[1] Examination o harn tishie is needit for a definite diagnosis.[4] Mental an pheesical exercise, an avoidin obesity mey decrease the risk o AD; houiver, evidence tae support these recommendations is nae strang.[4][12] Thare are na medications or supplements that hae been shawn tae decrease risk.[13]

Na treatments stap or reverse its progression, tho some mey temporarily impruive symptoms.[2] Affectit fowk increasingly rely on ithers for assistance, eften placin a burden on the caregiver; the pressurs can include social, psychological, pheesical, an economic elements.[14] Exercise programmes mey be beneficial wi respect tae activities o daily leevin an can potentially impruive ootcomes.[15] Behavioural problems or psychosis due tae dementia are eften treatit wi antipsychotics, but this is nae uisually recommendit, as thare is little benefit wi an increased risk o early daith.[16][17]

In 2015, thare war approximately 29.8 million fowk warldwide wi AD.[2][8] It maist eften begins in fowk ower 65 years o age, awtho 4% tae 5% o cases are early-onset Alzheimer's that begin afore this.[3] It affects aboot 6% o fowk 65 years an aulder.[1] In 2015, dementia resultit in aboot 1.9 million daiths.[9] It wis first descrived bi, and later named efter, German psychiatrist an pathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906.[18] In developit kintras, AD is ane o the maist financially costly diseases.[19][20]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Burns A, Iliffe S (February 2009). "Alzheimer's disease". BMJ. 338: b158. doi:10.1136/bmj.b158. PMID 19196745.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 "Dementia Fact sheet". World Health Organization. 12 December 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mendez MF (November 2012). "Early-onset Alzheimer's disease: nonamnestic subtypes and type 2 AD". Archives of Medical Research. 43 (8): 677–85. doi:10.1016/j.arcmed.2012.11.009. PMC 3532551. PMID 23178565.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Ballard C, Gauthier S, Corbett A, Brayne C, Aarsland D, Jones E (March 2011). "Alzheimer's disease". Lancet. 377 (9770): 1019–31. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61349-9. PMID 21371747.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Dementia diagnosis and assessment" (PDF). National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Archived frae the oreeginal (PDF) on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)
  6. Commission de la transparence. Médicaments de la maladie d'Alzheimer [Drugs for Alzheimer's disease: best avoided. No therapeutic advantage]. Prescrire International. June 2012;21(128):150. PMID 22822592.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Querfurth HW, LaFerla FM (January 2010). "Alzheimer's disease". The New England Journal of Medicine. 362 (4): 329–44. doi:10.1056/NEJMra0909142. PMID 20107219.
  8. 8.0 8.1 GBD 2015 Disease Injury Incidence Prevalence Collaborators (October 2016). "Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015". Lancet. 388 (10053): 1545–602. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31678-6. PMC 5055577. PMID 27733282.
  9. 9.0 9.1 GBD 2015 Mortality Causes of Death Collaborators (October 2016). "Global, regional, and national life expectancy, all-cause mortality, and cause-specific mortality for 249 causes of death, 1980–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015". Lancet. 388 (10053): 1459–544. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31012-1. PMC 5388903. PMID 27733281.
  10. "About Alzheimer's Disease: Symptoms". National Institute on Aging. Archived frae the oreeginal on 15 January 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)
  11. Todd S, Barr S, Roberts M, Passmore AP (November 2013). "Survival in dementia and predictors of mortality: a review". International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 28 (11): 1109–24. doi:10.1002/gps.3946. PMID 23526458.
  12. "So, What Can You Do?" (in Inglis). National Institute on Aging. 29 July 2016. Archived frae the oreeginal on 3 April 2017. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)
  13. Primary and secondary prevention trials in Alzheimer disease: looking back, moving forward. Current Alzheimer Research. 2017;14(4):426–40. doi:10.2174/1567205013666160930112125. PMID 27697063.
  14. Systematic Review of Information and Support Interventions for Caregivers of People with Dementia. BMC Geriatrics. 2007;7:18. doi:10.1186/1471-2318-7-18. PMID 17662119.
  15. Forbes D, Forbes SC, Blake CM, Thiessen EJ, Forbes S (April 2015). "Exercise programs for people with dementia". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Submitted manuscript). 132 (4): 195–96. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD006489.pub4. PMID 25874613.
  16. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. "Low-dose antipsychotics in people with dementia". National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Archived frae the oreeginal on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)
  17. "Information for Healthcare Professionals: Conventional Antipsychotics". US Food and Drug Administration. 16 June 2008. Archived frae the oreeginal on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)
  18. Evolution in the Conceptualization of Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease: Greco-Roman Period to the 1960s. Neurobiology of Aging. 1998;19(3):173–89. doi:10.1016/S0197-4580(98)00052-9. PMID 9661992.
  19. Impact économique de la démence (English: The Economical Impact of Dementia). Presse Médicale. 2005;34(1):35–41. French. doi:10.1016/s0755-4982(05)83882-5. PMID 15685097.
  20. Economic Considerations in Alzheimer's Disease. Pharmacotherapy. 1998;18(2 Pt 2):68–73; discussion 79–82. doi:10.1002/j.1875-9114.1998.tb03880.x. PMID 9543467.