Alzheimer’s & Dementia

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What is Alzheimer’s and Dementia Disease

Based on the National Institute on Aging, dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning—thinking, remembering, and reasoning—and behavioral abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. These functions include memory, language skills, visual perception, problem solving, self-management, and the ability to focus and pay attention. Source

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with the disease—those with the late-onset type—symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Early-onset Alzheimer’s occurs between a person’s 30s and mid-60s and is very rare. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. Source

Common Symptoms

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other Dementias may include any number of the following:

  • Memory loss that affects daily life

  • Challenges in solving problems or planning

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Confusion with time or place

  • Getting lost in familiar places

  • Repeating statements or questions over and over

  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks

  • Loss for words

  • Decreased or poor judgement

  • Changes in behavior or personality

Impacted Areas of the Brain

The brain regions of interest related to dementias and Alzheimer’s Disease focus on cerebral atrophy. Volumetric data can come from an MRI, which is typically suggested. Based on medical literature, the signature patterns identified by SPECT imaging of Alzheimer’s patients are cerebral atrophy in the anterior interhemispheric fissure, interhemispheric hypoperfusion, or a “headband” of hypoperfusion along the top/middle of the fronto-parietal region.

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