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Alzheimer Disease: Causes and Treatment

Alzheimer disease (AD) is a type of dementia that mainly occurs among the older populations. The disease condition improves with the age. In other words, the disease gradually gets worse as the individuals’ age increases (Tom, Hubbard & Crane, 2014). Clinical studies indicate that the disease affect parts of the brain that controls memory, behavior and thoughts (Tom et al, 2014). The disease results from the death of the parts of the brain as well as malfunctioning of the neurons (Alexander & Larson, 2014; Tom et al, 2014). As a result, the individual ability to take personal care diminishes. Such people would end up depending on others for the provision of basic care (Tom et al, 2014). Studies also indicate that the Alzheimer is the most common type of dementia and accounts for over 80% of the fatal cases (Tom et al, 2014; Alexander & Larson, 2014).

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Studies indicate that Alzheimer disease is the common cause of death not only in US but also globally (Alexander & Larson, 2014). In US, the disease is the 6th cause of death while in Europe it is rated among the fourth (Alexander & Larson, 2014). Studies indicate that one in three older people die as a result of the disease. The prevalence of the diseases among the aged is higher depending on the advancement of the age (Alexander & Larson, 2014). Studies indicate that among the ages between 75 and 84 years, the cases is approximated to be a round 86% while the ages between 65 and 74 years, the rate is approximately 68% (Alexander & Larson, 2014). However, current studies indicate that the Alzheimer disease is increasingly becoming common among the middle-aged people (Alexander & Larson, 2014). The increasing trend of deaths among the middle-aged group due to Alzheimer disease is alarming (Gitlin, Kales & Lyketsos, 2012). Even though the cause of the trend has not been effectively established, few studies that have been conducted on the trend have associated the changes in the lifestyle to the increased occurrence of the disease among the middle-aged adults (Alexander & Larson, 2014).

As indicated, even though few studies have been conducted on the correlation between Alzheimer disease and the individuals’ lifestyle, the associations between the variable factors are evident (Alexander & Larson, 2014). Evidences indicate that with the increasing rate of changes in the lifestyle, the probability of people living with Alzheimer disease is also increasing in similar manner. The recent survey approximate that the internet and the baby booming generation will cause the incidences of AD to increase to over 90% in 2030. In countries with advanced technology such as US, the rate might even be higher (Alexander & Larson, 2014). The variations are also evident within the countries. For instance, in US, states such as California would have higher incidences of AD. In such states, the increased life expectancy, exposure to cardiovascular diseases risk factors, changes in education such as formal education are likely to push the incidences to higher levels (Alexander & Larson, 2014). The variations in the prevalence of the AD are also observed among the racial populations. Even though the general increase in AD due to changes in lifestyle is projected to increase, among the African Americans, the prevalence rate will double while the prevalence rate will triple among the Latinos and the Americans of the Asian origin.

As indicated, the current studies are focused on the effects of AD among the affected population. Iverson, Gronseth and Reger (2010) indicated that the occurrences of accidents among the individuals diagnosed with AD are higher compared with average older people without the disease. Similarly, several studies have linked AD with genetic factors (Schutte, 2013; Alexander & Larson, 2014). However, majority of the studies have focused on the therapies and prevention measures (Schutte, 2013; Alexander & Larson, 2014; Harder, 2012; Cranwell-Bruce, 2010; Watson & Yu, 2013; Yu, Rose, Burgener, Cunningham, Buettner, Beattie, Bossen, Buckwalter, Fick, Fitzsimmons, Kolanowski, Janet, Specht, Richeson, Testad & McKenzie, 2009). Other studies have also been directed on how to reduce other risk factors associated with AD such as family history, high blood pressure, smocking and diabetes (Harder, 2012; Cranwell-Bruce, 2010; Watson & Yu, 2013; Yu et al., 2009). However, few studies have been conducted on the lifestyle as one of the risk factors. A study conducted by Alexander and Larson (2014) indicated that lifestyles such physical activity, social connections and constant mental engagement have increased possibility of reducing incidences of AD.

Alzheimer disease (AD) though occurs mainly among the older people, the current trends indicate that the prevalence of the disease is increasing among the middle-aged group of individuals. The increasing trend has been associated with the changes in the lifestyle. In fact, evidence indicates that with the increasing rate of changes in the lifestyle, the probability of people living with Alzheimer disease also increases. However, literature mainly focuses on the other risk factors such as age, family history, high blood pressure, smocking and diabetes.


Alexander, M. & Larson, (2014). Patient information: Dementia (including Alzheimer disease ) (Beyond the Basics). JAMA, 38(4), 302-341.

Cranwell-Bruce, L. A. (2010). Drugs for Alzheimer’s disease. Medical-Surgical Nurses 19(1), 51-53.

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Gitlin, L. N., Kales, H. C. & Lyketsos, C. G. (2012). Nonpharmacologic management of behavioral symptoms in dementia. JAMA, 308(54), 2020-2041.

Harder, K. (2012). Management of clients with Alzheimer’s dementia and co-morbid depression. Australian Nursing Journal, 19(9), 35.

Iverson, D. J., Gronseth, G. S., & Reger, M. A. (2010). Practice parameter update: evaluation and management of driving risk in dementia. Neurology, 74(16), 1316-1356.

Schutte, D. (2013). Genetic testing and Alzheimer disease: Implications for psychiatric-mental health nursing. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental Health Services, 51(11), 14-18.

Tom, S. E., Hubbard, R. A., & Crane, P. K. (2014). Characterization of dementia and Alzheimer disease in an older population: updated incidence and life expectancy with and without dementia. American Journal of Public Health, 36(6), 1-54.

Watson, E. & Yu, F. (2013). Monitoring exercise delivery to increase participation adherence in older adults with Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 39(5), 11-14.

Yu, F., Rose, K. M., Burgener, S. C., Cunningham, C., Buettner, L. L., Beattie, E., Bossen, A. L., Buckwalter, K. C., Fick, D. M., Fitzsimmons, S., Kolanowski, A., Janet, K., Specht, P., Richeson, N. E., Testad, I., & McKenzie, S. E. (2009). Cognitive training for early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 35(3), 23-29.

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