Every year, the Alzheimer’s Association releases a report on the fight against the much-feared irreversible and progressive brain disorder. In the 2022 edition, published last Tuesday (15), one of the highlights was early Alzheimer’s, which can be identified through various signs, such as mild cognitive impairment, for example.
Mild cognitive impairment is like a gateway to Alzheimer’s or other neurological conditions, and is often confused with the cognitive decline that naturally accompanies aging. In this case, the person himself notices the forgetfulness, as do the people he lives with, but he manages to do activities normally. The main symptoms are:
Frequent forgetfulness (from small things to important events)
Loss of train of thought during conversations
Feelings of overload when making decisions, making plans, or following instructions
Trouble finding your way to places you already know
To conduct the report, the Alzheimer’s Association surveyed 3,201 people. Among them, 80% were not even familiar with mild cognitive impairment, which affects 18% of people aged 60 and over. Of those who knew about the condition, 40% reported concern about developing it.
In addition, 85% of respondents showed an interest in knowing early if they had Alzheimer’s, in order to start treatments as soon as possible. However, 60% of participants would not seek medical attention immediately after symptoms appeared.
Much is discussed about the causes of Alzheimer’s. Scientists recently discovered that the clinical picture may be associated with two conditions: accumulation of beta-amyloid protein plaques and neurofibrillary tangle disorder, composed mainly of a protein called tau – which can kill neurons.
On the other hand, treatment has also been a concern of different institutions. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University (USA) have invested in new approaches to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases by identifying specific characteristics in prions (infectious particles made up only of strand proteins and DNA encoded from special genes that induce antibody production).
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