Is Alzheimer's Disease Genetic?
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Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia among older people. Dementia is a brain disorder causing deficits in memory and thinking abilities to such an extent that it impairs a person's ability to carry out daily activities. A related problem, mild cognitive impairment, results in significant memory or thinking problems (more than in normal people the same age) but does not impair the individual from carrying out daily activities. Many, but not all, people with mild cognitive impairment will develop Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease begins slowly. It first involves the parts of the brain that control memory, visual skills and language. People with Alzheimer's disease may have trouble remembering things that happened recently or names of common objects. In Alzheimer's disease, over time, symptoms get worse. People may repeat questions frequently, misplace items or have trouble finding words, reading or writing. They may eventually even forget how to brush their teeth or comb their hair. During the course of illness, they may become anxious, aggressive, or wander away from home. Eventually, they need total supervision and care. This can cause great stress for family members who must care for them.
Alzheimer's disease usually begins after age 60. The risk increases as you get older. Your risk is also higher if a family member has had the disease.
No treatment can stop the disease. However, some drugs may help keep symptoms from getting worse for a period of time.
Source: NIH: National Institute on Aging
The Memory Disorders Clinic at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, established in 1993, is one of Ohio’s most comprehensive centers for research, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment for patients and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Strengths that distinguish us include:
Assessment Expertise: We developed the cognitive assessment tool, SAGE, used nationwide to detect the early signs of cognitive disorders.
Cognitive Specialists: Ohio State has the most fellowship-trained cognitive specialists in Ohio. Our three physicians and two nurse practitioners bring a high level of skill to diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s disease and addressing the disease’s effects on patients and families. We are experts in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry, as well.
Research: Ohio State conducts more Alzheimer’s clinical research and clinical trials than any other medical center in Ohio. Our patients have more immediate access to the most promising treatments and diagnostic techniques, often long before they are available to the public.
Additionally, we have high-powered magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and state-of-the-art positron emission tomography (PET) machines that provide highly defined images for research: the 3 Tesla MRI, 7 Tesla MRI, and amyloid and tau PET imaging. This equipment produces crisp, high-resolution images at a remarkable level of accuracy.