What is Alzheimer's Disease?

A progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions.

Acquired multiple cognitive defects that include memory impairment in combination with aphasia, apraxia, agnosia or a disturbance of executive function that are severe enough to cause impairment in occupational or social functioning and that represent a decline from previous baseline functioning



What Is Alzheimer's Disease?
  • Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.
  • Brain cell connections and the cells themselves degenerate and die, eventually destroying memory and other important mental functions.
  • Memory loss and confusion are the main symptoms.
  • No cure exists, but medication and management strategies may temporarily improve symptoms.
  • It is a progressive disease beginning with mild memory loss and possibly leading to loss of the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to the environment.
  • Alzheimer’s disease involves parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language.
  • It can seriously affect a person’s ability to carry out daily activities.


What are the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease?
  • Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. Memory problems are typically one of the first warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
  • In addition to memory problems, someone with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease may experience one or more of the following:
  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place or repeating questions.
  • Trouble handling money and paying bills.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
  • Decreased or poor judgment.
  • Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.
  • Changes in mood, personality, or behavior.

Causes of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Adult, Geriatric (>65 years)
  • Genetic mutation
  • Down syndrome [Down syndrome - Chronic]
  • Depression [Depression - Chronic]
  • Head trauma
  • Dietary finding
  • Hypertension [Hypertension - Chronic]
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Diabetes mellitus [Diabetes mellitus - Chronic]
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia
  • Generalized atherosclerosis
  • Smoking

Findings
  • Memory impairment
  • Aphasia
  • Apraxia
  • Agnosia
  • Executive dysfunction
  • Depression - Chronic
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Personality change
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Undernourished
  • Pressure sore - Chronic
  • Muscle atrophy

Treatment

Mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease

DONEPEZIL HYDROCHLORIDE
Adults: Initial dose 5 mg orally daily; increase to 10 mg orally daily if tolerated.


GALANTAMINE HYDROBROMIDE
Adults (immediate-release): Initial dose 4 mg orally twice daily; may increase to 8 mg orally twice daily after at least 4 weeks; may increase to 12 mg orally twice daily after at least 4 weeks if the previous dose tolerated; maximum dose 32 mg orally per day

Adults (extended-release): Initial dose 8 mg orally once daily; may increase to 16 mg orally once daily after a minimum of 4 weeks; may increase to 24 mg orally daily after a minimum of 4 weeks


RIVASTIGMINE TARTRATE
Adults (oral dosing): Initial dose of 1.5 mg orally twice daily; may increase by 1.5 mg orally twice daily after a minimum of 2 weeks; maximum dose of 6 mg orally twice daily

Adults (transdermal dosing): Initial dose of 4.6 mg per 24 hours (5 cm2 patch) transdermally, change the patch once daily; if well tolerated for a minimum of 4 weeks increase dose to 9.5 mg per 24 hours (10 cm2 patch) transdermally, change the patch once daily (maximum dose 9.5 mg/24 hours)


Moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease

DONEPEZIL HYDROCHLORIDE
Adults: Initial dose 5 mg orally daily; increase to 10 mg orally daily if tolerated

MEMANTINE HYDROCHLORIDE
Adults: Initial dose 5 mg orally daily; may increase by 5 mg/day every week until a maximum of 10 mg twice daily is reached.


Psychosis and agitation in dementia
RISPERIDONE (Related toxicological information in RISPERIDONE)
Adults: Initial dose 0.25 to 1 mg orally daily (maximum, 1.5 to 2 mg/day)

OLANZAPINE (Related toxicological information in OLANZAPINE)
Adults: Initial dose 1.25 to 5 mg orally daily (maximum, 10 mg/day)

QUETIAPINE FUMARATE
Adults: Initial dose 12.5 to 50 mg orally daily (maximum, 200 to 300 mg/day)

HALOPERIDOL
Adults: Initial dose 0.25 to 0.5 mg orally daily (maximum, 2 mg/day)


Psychotic Disorder
Emotional and psychosocial support and education: The psychosocial and educational aspects of treatment can improve patient outcomes and medication compliance and should focus on stress reduction.

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