What Causes Alzheimer's?
By Winchester Neurological Consultants
December 20, 2022
Category: Mental health
Tags: Alzheimer  

The Memory Care Clinic at Winchester Neurological Consultants works to educate each Alzheimer's patient in Winchester, VA, about treatment options while setting expectations.

Genetic Risk Factors

One of the most potent genetic risk factors for this disease is the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene. This gene is present on chromosome 19 and helps carry cholesterol in the bloodstream. 

People inherit a copy of the gene from both their parents. Having two copies of this gene is associated with an increased risk of this form of dementia.

Researchers have recently discovered 29 new genomic regions linked to this disease. These regions are involved in inflammation, lipid metabolism, and immune response. They also identified gene alterations that play a role in the immune system.

Protein Buildup Inside and Outside of Brain Cells

In the early stages of the disease, proteins build up inside and outside brain cells. These accumulations disrupt the way brain cells communicate and die. They also cause plaques and tangles in the brain. Eventually, these deposits become a significant symptom of the disease

One of the critical proteins in the brain is the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP). This protein sits in the cell membrane and influences how proteins are processed in the brain. This process can be affected by mutations in APP.

Researchers have yet to figure out precisely what causes the abnormal buildup of proteins. But experts believe that it is a result of lifestyle and genetic factors. We will work with our Alzheimer's patients in Winchester, VA, to mitigate the adverse effects of these factors.

How Cardiovascular Disease Contributes

Vascular disease is one of the most significant risk factors for mental decline. This is because vascular diseases cause alterations in the blood supply to the brain, which affects how brain cells function. 

About 25% of the blood in the brain is delivered with each heartbeat. This is essential for brain cell function. So when the heart isn't functioning correctly, the brain is starved of blood and unable to work properly.

When these changes occur, the brain cannot send chemical messengers and receive messages from other brain cells. This leads to decreased cognitive abilities and other symptoms of this disease.

Call The Memory Care Clinic at Winchester Neurological Consultants (540) 667-1828 to begin receiving exceptional Alzheimer's treatment in Winchester, VA.

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