Alzheimer’s Disease | Cannabis Wiki

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Alzheimer’s Disease & Cannabis

Alzheimer’s disease is progressive and debilitating beginning with memory loss and progresses to complete loss of mental, emotional, and physical functioning. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia, ac chronic disorder of the mental processes due to progressive brain disease. It is most common in older people, particularly over the age of 80, but occasionally occurs in younger people.

People with Alzheimer’s disease become increasingly forgetful and eventually develop severe memory loss, particularly of recent events. Their ability to concentrate, cope with numbers and verbally communicate declines, and they often become anxious and depressed. Sudden mood swings and personality changes are common, as is socially unacceptable behavior.

With advanced disease, patients are often disoriented, especially at night, and may neglect personal hygiene and become incontinent. Some people become docile and helpless; others are aggressive and difficult to care for.

Causes

Many people have a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease, but most are unlikely to develop the disease unless other factors come into play. Only 15 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease have a family history of the condition, so the disease in not usually directly inherited.

Chromosome Mutations

The first gene to be linked to Alzheimer’s disease was found on chromosome 21. This chromosome is abnormal in people with Down’s syndrome who, as a group, are at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Genes increasing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease have been identified on other chromosomes. The mutation of a single gene causes about 5 percent of Alzheimer’s cases. Three genes have been identified that, if mutated, can cause severe disease under the age of 65.

Attempts are being made to identify the factors that lead to Alzheimer’s disease in genetically predisposed people.

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