What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Simply put: Alzheimer’s disease (named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, the German scientist who discovered it) is a brain deterioration disorder which causes gradual but severe memory loss.
Although the disease ranks as the most common form of dementia in people older than age 60, significantly younger individuals can be afflicted as well.

What causes it?
The exact cause remains largely unknown. However, Alzheimer’s seems to develop from a combination of factors including genetics, age, lack of exercise, recurring mental trauma. Gender may also play a role as women seem more prone than men to suffer from the disease.
Doctors characterize Alzheimer's in one of three ways: early onset, late onset, or familial. Early onset afflicts younger individuals, typically in their 30s or 40s, and is associated with an abnormality of chromosome 14. Late onset develops after the age 65, and the familial form (FAD) is hereditary and rare, but can occur at a very young age.

What are the symptoms?
The basic symptom is a forgetfulness progressing to memory loss, confusion, depression, uncharacteristic aggression and other distinct behavioral changes. In the early stages of the disease, Alzheimer’s patients may have difficulty remembering words, and later have trouble completing daily routines, or adequately evaluating situations and making sensible decisions. Sudden mood swings, lethargy and lack of enthusiasm may also become apparent. Eventually, sufferers become unable to recognize and respond to loved ones, and live on their own.

How can Alzheimer’s be prevented?
Since there is not yet a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, prevention is key. Some simple strategies which may help include:
• Leading an active physical and social life.
• Exercising the body and brain regularly.
• Avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption.
• Eating healthily, minimizing foods rich in fat and high in calories.
• And by adding foods such as blueberries, nuts, fish, carrots, herbs, and fresh vegetables -- all proven beneficial to the nervous system and in fighting the effects of aging -- to your daily diet.

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