Alzheimer’s Disease Leading Cause of Death Among Americans

Alzheimer's Disease

Despite advancements in science, the National Institute of Health ranks Alzheimer’s Disease in sixth place among the leading causes of death among Americans in 2014. However, current research indicates that the disease has reached the third place ranking, behind heart disease and cancer. Due to its aggressive nature and correlation with the future development of dementia, scientists are working diligently to cure this epidemic.

According to the National Institute of Aging Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet, “Alzheimer’s has been considered to be the most common cause leading to dementia among older adults. Symptoms of dementia often include the loss of cognitive functioning-thinking skills, confusion while remembering and reasoning, and extreme behavioral misconduct. Depending on its severity, dementia can interfere with an individual’s day-to-day activities greatly.

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease has been recorded to be the leading cause of death among Americans since the 1900’s. The first doctor to discover changes in the brain was, Dr. Alois Alzheimer. The Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center, a service of the National Institute on Aging, recalls that, in 1906, “Dr. Alzheimer had encountered his first patient, a female who passed away from an unknown mental illness. Upon examination, Dr. Alzheimer discovered the patient had displayed abnormal clumps (plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (tangles) within the cortex of the brain.”

Dr.Alzheimer believed that plaques, tangles, and the loss of connection between neurons (nerves), were key features of the disease. Research has also suggested that a person’s health, their environment, and lifestyle are all factors that contribute to the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The ADEAR Center has researched the newly discovered antioxidant (resveratrol) and shared, “It is found in fruit such as grapes, and its product red wine has also been found in chocolate. It is clinically linked to improvements in diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and several other progressive conditions.” Concentrating on the accuracy of a tangible dose of resveratrol can potentially slow down the disease with minimal side effects.

In recent studies, scientist approximate that one dose of resveratrol is equivalent to one thousand bottles of red wine. Presently, research has also suggested that the accumulation of amyloid-beta proteins within the brain causes an imbalance in the body. Scientists believe that the medicine resveratrol, in the right dosage, can reduce the accumulation of amyloid-beta proteins, and circulate the protein throughout the body.

The Washington Post recently stated, “Women who display the early signs of mental decline that can proceed Alzheimer’s disease deteriorate faster than men with the same condition. Of an estimated 5.4 Million people with Alzheimer’s in the United States, about 3.4 million are female. Females have twice the lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, which is the leading cause of dementia. This disease is progressive and incurable.”

Overall, there is enough scientific data and research that places Alzheimer’s Disease as a leading cause of death among Americans in today’s society. Grapes, chocolate and red wine all contain antioxidants, which if consumed in the correct proportion, can reduce the accumulation of amyloid-beta proteins, and circulate the proteins throughout the body.  Reportedly, this leads to a potential cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. Additional studies and testing will be needed before resveratrol can become fully effective.

By Jhayla D. Tyson

Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center: A Service of the National Institute of Aging
CNN: For Alzheimer’s Patients, Resveratrol Brings New Hope
National Institute on Aging: Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet
The Washington Post: Studies add to Evidence that Women are More Vulnerable to Alzheimer’s

Image Sources:
Top Article Image Courtesy of ZEISS Microscopy’s Flickr Page – Creative Common License
Featured Image and Inline Image Courtesy of Alex’s Flickr Page – Creative Common License

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