Alzheimer's is a progressive disorder that results in the degeneration of the brain. It is often a paradoxical disorder, affecting the minds of individuals whose physical bodies are perfectly healthy otherwise. Alzheimer's slowly and insidiously produces dementia that leaves aging individuals unable to care for themselves, remember their loved ones, or perform the basic activities of daily living. Alzheimer's is a disease that has baffled scientists for many years. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer's, but scientists are beginning to uncover some interesting findings that may lead to more advanced ways to treat and perhaps even prevent the disease altogether.

Inflammation is a natural physical response to infection. The human body sends out white blood cells and produces chemicals when it is under attack by invading pathogens (or a perceived attack) or foreign substances. The white blood cells and various chemicals that are released by the body in these instances help to fight off the possibility of infection. Inflammation that occurs in response to infection can be viewed as a positive thing in this case.

Unfortunately, chronic inflammation may have a devastating impact on the body resulting in the development of diseases like Alzheimer's, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and even atherosclerosis. Alzheimer's resembles other forms of dementia that develop in aging individuals. The disease can only be differentiated from other forms of dementia by the plaque that builds up in the brain. Ultimately, scientists believe that chronic inflammation can initiate a response in the body that leads to the build up of this plaque in the brain which is characteristic of Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists are currently exploring possible treatment options that exist to tone down the chronic inflammation in the body that they believe may be the cause of the development of the disease. By treating chronic inflammation in the body, scientists believe that they may be able to slow or perhaps even stop the development of Alzheimer's disease. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy has shown promising results, for example. Hormonal imbalances appear to have an effect on the body's natural inflammatory response and correcting hormonal imbalances can lead to enhanced overall health as individuals age including a diminished risk for diseases like Alzheimer's. Anti-inflammatory drugs like indomethacin are also being researched for their effect on Alzheimer's. So far, clinicians are noting some protection from Alzheimer's with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs as well as with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

Understanding Alzheimer's as a disease that may be caused by the body's own inflammatory response gone awry is an exciting discovery that has the potential to lead to technologies that may be able to prevent this devastating disease. Most long term care facilities have a large proportion of individuals who are physically in good health, but cannot care for themselves because they have developed Alzheimer's disease. As age management medicine become more relevant in our society due to a growing aging population, it seems promising that Alzheimer's and other diseases that may be caused by inflammation will have a lessened impact on the growing population of aging individuals.

Author's Bio: 

Jennifer is a content editor for the PhysioAge Medical Group, a group of bioidentical doctors who are experienced in helping both men and women slow the aging process.