November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. It is estimated that around 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s Disease, with incidence rising as we continue to live longer.
Alzheimer’s isn’t a normal part of aging, but the risk of developing the condition increases with age, with studies indicating that for every five years beyond the age of 65, prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease doubles. With the population of Americans aged 65 or over expected to rise to 88.5 million over the next three decades, the number of people to develop Alzheimer’s disease is expected to rise sharply too. Here we look at the facts about Alzheimer’s disease, prevention and treatment.
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative, progressive disorder that causes the brains neurons (nerve cells) to become damaged and die. This loss of neurons results in memory loss, inability to think coherently, loss of language skills and changes in behavior.
Whilst there is no known cause of Alzheimer’s disease; it is thought, like many chronic conditions, to be the result of a combination of genetic, physiological and environmental factors rather than one single cause.
How Do Our Brains Work?
Our brains are made of a complex network of neurons, which produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. These neurons process information, store it, and pass information and instructions to other parts of our body. Every move, thought, taste, is controlled by a specific area within this network. Each network interlinks to perform functions. For example, when we eat a meal, our brain tells us to pick up the food, open our mouth, chew swallow. At the same time we may be talking, thinking, we are tasting, remembering the conversation we have, the flavor of the food. At the same time still our brain is receiving messages from our stomach, telling us that we are full, or hungry. For a simple process there are millions of thigns happening within our brain.
How Does Alzheimer’s Affect the Brain?
Alzheimer’s disease attacks the neurons, which causes them to break connection with other nerve cells. As the neurons in different parts of the brain die, so different brain functions are affected.
People with Alzheimer’s have abnormally high levels of protein (plaques) and fibers (tangles) in their brain. These stop neurons from being as effective as they should and, eventually, the neurons die. Over time, the damage caused by the plaques and tangles spreads throughout the brain, causing further damage to cognitive function (how the brain works).
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, which means that it worsens over time, although there are medical and lifestyle measures that can be taken to slow the progression.
How is Alzheimer’s Treated?
Many people with Alzheimer’s disease are prescribed drugs to help replace the low levels of neurotransmitters associated with the condition. There are also other measures that people with Alzheimer’s can take to slow the progression of the disease. However, at this stage there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Stem cell therapy has, been show to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and, in some cases, reverse some of the damage caused by the disease.
Stem Cell Therapy Mexico is one of the specialist areas of groundbreaking medical treatment offered by Angeles Health. With cutting edge procedures, access to the latest technology and world leaders in stem cell therapy and stem cell treatment programs, patients often turn to the remarkable healing potential of stem cells when they have untreatable conditions, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, or conditions that would otherwise only be treatable through invasive surgery, such as joint conditions and eye diseases.
To find out more about Angeles Health and the range of procedures that we offer to medical tourists and Mexican Nationals, contact us.