Advice by Proxim - Ralph Mokbel

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a neurological disease characterized by the deterioration of a number of brain functions. Its progress is usually slow but constant. In fact, it may progress over a period of 3 to 20 years, and last an average of 8 to 12 years. This disease affects more than 8% of Canadians over the age of 65, is the leading cause of dementia, and is the fourth cause of death in Canada. Death is most often caused by complications resulting from the disease, such as pneumonia and wound infections further to long-term bed confinement.

Researchers are starting to better understand the brain damage caused by the disease, which brings hope that new scientific breakthroughs will occur in the near future. However, the cause of this disease remains a mystery. It is in fact believed that several factors are at play. One of the certainties seems to be that heredity increases the risk of developing the disease. While in 90 to 95% of cases we remain unfamiliar with the role heredity plays in Alzheimer’s progression, it has been shown that the risks of developing this disease increase when a parent is affected.
Identified risk factors include:

- Age. The older a person gets, the higher the risk
- Down syndrom (Trisomy 21)
- An old head injury
- Gender. Women are more at-risk the men
- Vascular disease
- Tobacco use

To better understand the progression of the disease, it is often divided in three stages: early (or mild), mid (or moderate), and severe (or late).


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