What causes Alzheimer's disease?

Causes of Alzheimer's disease. The cause of Alzheimer’s disease remains uncertain. It is likely that no single factor is responsible but that a variety of factors, which may differ from person to person. Since people whose parents or siblings develop the disease appear at greater risk of developing it themselves, there may be a genetic component. However, no straightforward pattern of inheritance has been found. It’s known that head injury is a risk factor and that Alzhemier’s disease often affects people with Downs Syndrome.

Some researchers have suggested that people who exercise their brains (doing crosswords and other mental agility exercises) are less likely to develop the disease. But there is no firm evidence to show that environmental factors play a part in the development of the disease.

Whatever the underlying cause, Alzhemier’s disease is the result of the destruction of nerve cells (neurones) in the brain. These nerve cells cannot be replaced, so the person with Alzhemier’s disease gets progressively worse as more cells are destroyed. This process causes the breakdown of the brains communication systems. When functioning normally, the brain exchanges signals from other parts of the body, and other parts of the brain, across the gaps (synapses) that exist between nerve cells. These signals are essential for brain activity such as language and problem solving. They are also involved in controlling motor functions, such as instructing muscles when and how to work.

These message signals cross over these gaps with the help of chemicals known as neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine. Doctors believe that nerve cell destruction causes a reduction in acetylcholine, leading to impaired transmission of nerve signals. Drugs that boost the amount of acetycholine are used to limit the impact of the disease.
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Related Questions

What causes Alzheimer's disease?

Unknown at present. Alzheimer's disease is one type of dementia, conditions marked by of decline in cognitive status & because of problems functioning.In spite of continuing research at this time exact cause is not known but greatest risk factor is old age & some forms run in families. Sometimes other conditions such as depression or low sodium can mimic symptom or worsen QOL so a careful diagnosis is first step. Read more...
Multifactorial. There are many things we cite as risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. Lack of exercise, lack of reading, hypertension, diabetes, poor diet, the list is quite extensive, attached you can find a YouTube video we did some time ago which lists some additional risk factors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhvBbg7HGMI. Read more...

Help docs! I'm trying to find out what causes Alzheimer's disease?

We are too! No one knows what causes alzheimers disease. Age is the main variable: the older the person, the more likely. Family history ; heredity are factors too. However, all of these are out of our control. Looking at controllable factors, past brain injury and cardiovascular health seem to increase risk. See: http://www.Alz.Org/alzheimers_disease_causes_risk_factors.Asp. Read more...
Complex. The abnormal deposition of amyloid and tau protein in the brain. We are not sure what starts the cascade of inflammation and neuronal damage . It is a complex mechanism - partially genetically based- but likely environmental as well. Present therapies focus on boosting chemicals in the brain that become deficient. Future therapies will remove abnormal protein and prevent their deposition. Read more...

What usually causes alzheimer's disease?

Nobody knows. In most cases, it is not clear what are the causes of alzheimer's disease. In some cases, the cause is an abnormal gene but that is true in only about 5% of people with alzheimer's disease. Read more...
Unknown. That is a billion or trillion dollar question. We know that when people have Alzheimer's parts of their brains die off in a certain order and cause specific symptoms. A myeloid plaques and tau tangles are found in people's brains. But we still don't know exactly what triggers the disease. Read more...

What usually causes alzheimer's disease?

Nobody knows. In most cases, it is not clear what are the causes of alzheimer's disease. In some cases, the cause is an abnormal gene but that is true in only about 5% of people with alzheimer's disease. Read more...

Please answer! What virus causes alzheimer's disease?

Not a virus. Ad is caused by an abnormal accumulation of a protein in the brain called beta amyloid. It is not known what starts the disease or how to prevent progression. There are drugs available to slow progression but no cure as of yet. Read more...

What symptoms are caused by Alzheimer's disease?

Problems with memory. thinking, finding words, judgment, getting lost, handling money/paying bills, repeating questions, completing daily tasks, losing/misplacing things, mood, personality changes; Moderate: memory loss, confusion, problems recognizing family/friends, unable to learn new things/situations, carry out multi-step tasks (getting dressed), hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, impulsive behavior. Read more...

Doctors, what are the causes of alzheimer's disease?

Nobody knows. In most cases, it is not clear what are the causes of alzheimer's disease. In some cases, the cause is an abnormal gene but that is true in only about 5% of people with alzheimer's disease. Read more...
Pesticides. The latest clinical research reports a marked association between exposure to agra industry synthetic anti-biologicals and evolution of alzheimer's. Read more...

Alzheimers disease, dementia, poor memory, mci -- what causes do they have in common?

Memory deficits. There is a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine which is deficient with aging, and that causes deficits in cognitive functions. Read more...
Not known. Alzheimer's disease is only one cause of dementia and there are other causes of memory problem. Some are reversible (e.g., vitamin B12 deficiency) so it is important to exclude them by medical examination. Mci may be a mild form of alzheimer's disease. Read more...