Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration together with declining activities of daily living and neuropsychiatric symptoms or behavioral changes. It is the most common type of dementia.
The most striking early symptom is loss of short term memory, which usually manifests as minor forgetfulness that becomes steadily more pronounced with illness progression, with relative preservation of older memories. As the disorder progresses, cognitive (intellectual) impairment extends to the domains of language (aphasia), skilled movements (apraxia), recognition (agnosia), and functions such as decision-making and planning.
At an anatomical level, AD is characterized by gross diffuse atrophy of the brain and loss of neurons, neuronal processes and synapses in the cerebral cortex and certain subcortical regions. Levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin, nor epinephrine, and somatostatin are also often reduced. Glutamate levels are usually elevated. Because glutamate is found in many vaccines, more research is needed to identify risk factors for Alzheimer’s dementia.
Exposure to light metals has been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s, such as the know neurotoxin, aluminum. Aluminum is often present in higher quantities in the brains of Alzheimers patients and aluminum is an ingredient (an adjuvant) in most vaccines.
In the USA, AD was the 7th leading cause of death in 2004, with 65,829 number of deaths (and rising). At over $100 billion per year, AD is the third most costly disease in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer. There are an estimated 24 million people with dementia worldwide. By 2040, it is projected that this figure will have increased to 81 million.