Second Nature Care Blog

Alzheimer's Quiz - Better Brain Health

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 26, 2015 10:00:00 AM / by Dr. Isadora Guggenheim

Second Nature Care cares about your brain health.

Can you still fit all the pieces of the puzzle together?  Do you know how to recognize, prevent and treat Alzheimer disease?  Take this quick quiz to see what you know.  

Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia that affects 5.4 million Americans and about 18 million worldwide.  Alzheimer disease care in the US alone was 183.00 million in 2011.  

Which of the following is not a recognized risk factor for Alzheimer disease?

Vascular factors
Hypertension
Alcohol abuse
Traumatic brain injury

Alcohol abuse is not a recognized risk factor for Alzheimer disease. We recognize elevated heavy metals that cross the blood brain barrier as risk factors for Alzheimer disease. We test and treat heavy metal toxicity with I.V. ozone chelation therapy. It's safe, effective, advanced treatment that prevents further damage.

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The cause of Alzheimer disease is unknown. Several investigators now believe that converging environmental and genetic risk factors trigger a pathophysiologic cascade that, over decades, leads to Alzheimer pathology and dementia.

The following risk factors for Alzheimer-type dementia have been identified:

  • Advancing age

  • Family history

  • APOE-4 genotype

  • Obesity

  • Insulin resistance

  • Vascular factors

  • Dyslipidemia

  • Hypertension

  • Inflammatory markers

  • Down syndrome

  • Traumatic brain injury

Midlife hypertension is an established risk factor for late-life dementia, of which Alzheimer disease is the most common type. A brain autopsy study evaluating the link between hypertension and Alzheimer disease found that patients using beta-blockers to control blood pressure had fewer Alzheimer-type brain lesions on autopsy compared with patients taking no drug therapy or those taking other medications.

Ozone therapy is a recognized anti-aging treatment that helps to lower blood pressure and get more oxygen to the brain.  I just treated a patient with severe episodic hypertension with ozone inhalation.  Her blood pressure decreased by over 50 points in ten minutes with ozone and homeopathic remedies.   

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Which of the following groups has the highest risk for Alzheimer disease?
White women aged 55-60 years
African American men aged 71 years or older
White men older than 65 years
Hispanic women aged 55-60 years

Alzheimer disease and other dementias are more common in African American persons than in white persons.According to the Alzheimer's Association, in the population aged 71 years or older, African American persons are almost twice as likely as white persons to have Alzheimer and other dementias (21.3% vs 11.2%). The number of Hispanic patients studied in this age group was too small to determine the prevalence of dementia in this population.

Which of the following is not a common symptom of moderate Alzheimer disease?

Increasing memory loss
Seizures
Hallucinations
Perceptual-motor problems

By the time Alzheimer disease reaches the moderate stage, damage has spread further to the areas of the cerebral cortex that control language, reasoning, sensory processing, and conscious thought. Seizures are not part of moderate symptoms. The symptoms of this stage can include the following:

  • Increasing memory loss and confusion

  • Shortened attention span

  • Problems recognizing friends and family members

  • Difficulty with language; problems with reading, writing, and working with numbers

  • Difficulty organizing thoughts and thinking logically

  • Inability to learn new things or to cope with new or unexpected situations

  • Restlessness, agitation, anxiety, tearfulness, and wandering, especially in the late afternoon or at night

  • Repetitive statements or movement, and occasional muscle twitches

  • Hallucinations, delusions, suspiciousness or paranoia, and irritability

  • Loss of impulse control (shown through such behavior as undressing at inappropriate times or places, or using vulgar language)

  • Perceptual-motor problems (such as trouble getting out of a chair or setting the table)

In the last stage, severe Alzheimer disease, plaques and tangles are widespread throughout the brain, and areas of the brain have atrophied further. Patients cannot recognize family and loved ones or communicate in any way. They are completely dependent on others for care. All sense of self seems to vanish.

Other symptoms can include the following:

  • Weight loss

  • Seizures, skin infections, difficulty swallowing

  • Groaning, moaning, or grunting

  • Increased sleeping

  • Lack of bladder and bowel control

Which of the following imaging studies is appropriate in the initial evaluation of patients with Alzheimer disease?

CT
Electroencephalography
PET
Single-photon emission CT (SPECT)

Structural neuroimaging with either a noncontrast CT or MRI is appropriate in the initial evaluation of patients with dementia, in order to detect lesions that may result in cognitive impairment (eg, stroke, small-vessel disease, tumor).

Imaging studies are particularly important for ruling out potentially treatable causes of progressive cognitive decline, such as chronic subdural hematoma or normal-pressure hydrocephalus. Brain scanning with SPECT or PET is not recommended for the routine work-up of patients with typical presentations of Alzheimer disease. Electroencephalography is valuable when Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or other prion-related disease is a likely diagnosis.

Which of the following treatments are used in an attempt to prevent or delay deterioration of cognition in patients with Alzheimer disease?

Vitamin E supplementation
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Neuroleptic agents
Cholinesterase inhibitors

Early diagnosis and treatment allows patients with Alzheimer disease to maintain the highest possible levels of cognitive and functional ability. Cholinesterase inhibitors and mental exercises are used in an attempt to prevent or delay the deterioration of cognition in patients with Alzheimer disease.

Numerous lines of evidence suggest that cholinergic systems that modulate information processing in the hippocampus and neocortex are impaired early in the course of Alzheimer disease. These observations have suggested that some of the clinical manifestations of Alzheimer disease are due to loss of cholinergic innervation to the cerebral cortex.

Centrally acting cholinesterase inhibitors prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine. Four such agents have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Alzheimer disease:

  • Tacrine

  • Donepezil (Aricept®, Aricept ODT)

  • Rivastigmine (Exelon®, Exelon patch)

  • Galantamine (Razadyne®, Razadyne ER)

Heather S. Anderson. Quiz: Do You Know the Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Potential Treatments for Alzheimer Disease? Medscape. Jan 02, 2015.

Topics: Healthy Living, Brain Health, Chronic Illness and Disease

Isadora Guggenheim, ND, RN, MS, CNS LMT, owner of Second Nature Naturopathic Care, LLC
For all appointments: Tel: 845 358-8385 Fax: 845 358-2963 drguggenheim@msn.com