Biology of Alzheimer's and Related Disorders

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can be difficult to understand. Why do some people get dementia, and why do some never have a memory issue? What causes Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of memory loss? The answer comes down to biology. According to Winsome McLeod, Executive Director at YourLife of Stuart, a Memory Care community in Stuart, Florida, dementia is one of the most common issues facing seniors. “If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of memory loss, or if you believe a loved one may be dealing with its effects, it can help to get informed. Knowing what forms of dementia there are, who it impacts and how, and what changes can occur can greatly enhance the likelihood of diagnosis. We are here to help. To make it easier and to help improve understanding, we’ve broken down the biology of Alzheimer’s disease and its related disorders.”

What Forms of Memory Loss Are There?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, there is a wide array of forms of dementia. These can include Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body disease, mixed pathologies, frontotemporal lobar degeneration and cerebrovascular disease. Each of these has different signs, symptoms and characteristics, however, and can be difficult to diagnose without a doctor’s help. What causes these can vary, but one thing is certain – dementia doesn’t discriminate.

Who Do They Impact?

The Alzheimer’s Association® states that 5.8 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, and by the year 2050, the number is projected to be almost 14 million. This isn’t just including, seniors, however. Those who are younger may also experience early-onset Alzheimer’s. In an article by Verywell Health, they state that previously published research shows that African Americans have the highest risk of dementia. American Indians and Alaskan Natives come in second and Latinos follow close behind.

Why Do These Differences Occur? What Causes This?

There are a number of factors to consider. From age, family history and brain changes, to external factors and risk factors, there’s no one thing that causes Alzheimer’s disease and its related disorders, but instead a number of them, which are ultimately scientific. Alzheimer’s disease is caused by toxic changes in the brain, according to the National Institute on Aging. The brain contains neurons that process and transmit information via signals in order to send messages to different parts of the body. Alzheimer’s disease, according to the article, disrupts this communication and causes a loss of function and the death of cells. The survival of neurons relies on several biological processes, which, if they don’t work, cause Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. These biological functions include:

  • Communication between the brain and these neurons
  • The metabolism of chemicals and nutrients within a cell, which is critical to healthy cells and their survival
  • Repair, remodeling and regeneration of cells to fix and help the brain

When a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, the damage is widespread according to the article. Once neurons stop functioning, they lose connection with other neurons and die, causing the intense changes those with the disease face. To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, feel free to contact us. Our team would be happy to meet with you, answer any questions you may have and provide the information you need to better understand what these diseases are and how to help. For more information or to schedule a tour of our community, contact us today at 772-207-4191.

Designed for You. Defined by You.

YourLife™ of Stuart was created with one purpose – to provide the most exceptional Memory Care and uplifting lifestyle for our residents. As Memory Care specialists, we focus all our energy, attention and resources to creating a community that caters to each resident’s personal needs, respects their choices and honors individuality, while providing unequaled peace of mind and support for families. Because Memory Care is our sole focus, we have the unique ability to design and personally tailor plans around our residents. We see each resident as an individual, understanding that everyone has their own story, specific needs and retained abilities. With that information, we develop personally inspired care plans that value and support each person’s independence. Our team of attentive, caring YourLife™ Personal Care Specialists are on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide assistance with everyday activities, gentle reminders and redirection. Through our signature programming, YourStory, we create an individual experience centered around each resident. From cultural, educational and health and wellness programming, scheduled outings and other special events to personal care, assistance and multiple therapies, we create days with meaning. At YourLife™ of Stuart, our residents and families know that this is a community designed for you, with a lifestyle defined by you. Contact us to learn more! Call us at 772-207-4191 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.