📩 20/09/2023 12:45
It is estimated that there are approximately 50 million people with dementia in the world. The identified risk factors of the disease also include genetic processes. Liv Hospital, Neurology Specialist Prof. will answer all your questions about Alzheimer's disease, which is the most common form of dementia. Dr. Ayhan Öztürk explained.
Öztürk started his speech by defining dementia and said, “Dementia; It is a syndrome that causes impairment in cognitive functions. It affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language and reasoning. " said.
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia
Prof. Dr. Stating that Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, Ayhan Öztürk said, “The other main forms are dementia due to vascular diseases, dementia with Lewy bodies and dementia that affects especially the front part of the brain. Although the boundaries between different forms of dementia are not very sharp and different forms can often coexist. " he said.
Öztürk said that the rate of disease is increasing day by day and said:
“It is estimated that there are nearly 50 million people with dementia worldwide. This rate is predicted to almost triple by 2050, in low- and middle-income countries where approximately two-thirds live.
A multifactorial process
The pathophysiology of Alzheimer's disease involves a multifactorial process. The process of neurological inflammation is a complex process that eventually results in nerve cell death.
Genetic risk factor may initiate history of disease
The best established genetic risk factor for the disease is a family history of dementia. It is known that the pathological process in the brain and hereditary factors cause the disease.
It has been reported that the risk of developing the disease increases by 30% in people with first-degree relatives diagnosed with FH.”
Touching on the factors that predispose to the disease, Öztürk said, “Many acquired factors prepare the ground for the emergence of the disease. The most common of these factors are hypertension, blood fat level disorders, cerebrovascular diseases, changes in sugar metabolism and head trauma. Effective control of vascular risk factors in the middle age group reduces the risk of development, progression and severity of the disease. It can be said that one-third of the etiology of Alzheimer's disease worldwide is due to correctable risk factors.
It is believed that it will pave the way for new treatments to prevent the disease.
The most common cause of late-life dementia is Alzheimer's disease. Although diagnosis can be made at an early stage with developing diagnostic tests, no progress has been made in treatment yet. As genetic, epigenetic and biochemical studies progress, early diagnosis will pave the way for new treatments to prevent or slow down the disease. " he stated.
Öztürk pointed out the importance of early diagnosis of the disease and said, “Early-onset Alzheimer's disease differs from older-age-onset Alzheimer's disease in that the clinical condition and familial form are more common. In early age-onset Alzheimer's disease, recognition of the disease from the early stages is very important in terms of disease management and especially helping caregivers.
Dementia is not an inevitable outcome when quality of life is taken into consideration!
Although age is the strongest known risk factor for dementia, dementia is not an inevitable consequence of biological aging. Research conducted; It shows that the risk of cognitive decline and dementia may be reduced in people who are physically active, do not smoke, eat healthily, control their weight, avoid excessive alcohol use, and pay attention to cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Additional risk factors include depression, social isolation, low education level, lack of cognitive activities and air pollution.” he said.
"Some factors can lead to symptoms similar to the disease," said Öztürk:
“Since treatment options are limited in Alzheimer's and dementia, we must pay particular attention to diseases that can mimic this condition or cause similar complaints, and conditions that can be reversed with treatment.
Some infections and certain immune-impairing conditions, metabolic and endocrine abnormalities (such as thyroid problems, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), diseases that impair the absorption of too little or too much sodium, calcium, or vitamin B12) can cause dementia-like symptoms or personality changes.
Nutritional deficiencies, inadequate fluid intake (dehydration), chronic alcoholism, not getting enough thiamine (vitamin B1), and not getting enough vitamins B6 and B12 in your diet can cause dementia-like symptoms. Copper and vitamin E deficiencies can also lead to similar symptoms of dementia.
A different symptom may also occur as a result of side effects of some drugs, a reaction to a drug, or the interaction of several drugs.
Bleeding between the surface of the brain and the covering over the brain, such as subdural hematomas, which are common in the elderly after a fall, can also cause symptoms similar to dementia. Some brain tumors may also rarely present with a dementia-like symptom. "Dementia-like cognitive disorders may occur due to conditions that occur when tissues and organs do not receive enough oxygen, such as severe sleep apnea, asthma, heart attack or carbon monoxide poisoning."