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Alzheimers Disease

The disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer. In 1906, Dr. Alzheimer noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. Her symptoms included memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. After she died, he examined her brain and found many abnormal clumps (now called amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (now called neurofibrillary tangles). Plaques and tangles in the brain are two of the main features of Alzheimer’s disease. The third is the loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. Alzheimer’s disease. In people age 65 and older, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. People generally may develop symptoms after age 60, but some people may have early-onset forms of the disease, often as the result of a defective gene. Although in most cases the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease

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Dementia and Head Injury

If you or someone you’re with experiences an impact to the head and develops any symptoms of traumatic brain injury, seek medical advice even if symptoms seem mild. Call emergency services for anyone who is unconscious for more than a minute or two or who experiences seizures, repeated vomiting or symptoms that seem to worsen as time passes. Also seek emergency care for anyone whose head was injured during ejection from a vehicle, who was struck by a vehicle while on foot, or who fell from a height of more than 3 feet. Even if you don’t lose consciousness and your symptoms clear up quickly, a brain injury still may have occurred.A traumatic brain injury’s direct effects, which may be long-lasting or even permanent, can include unconsciousness, inability to recall the traumatic event, confusion, difficulty learning and remembering new information, trouble speaking coherently

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What is Niemann-Pick disease?

Niemann-Pick disease is an inherited condition involving lipid metabolism, which is the breakdown, transport, and use of fats and cholesterol in the body. In people with this condition, abnormal lipid metabolism causes harmful amounts of lipids to accumulate in the spleen, liver, lungs, bone marrow, and brain. This disorder is divided into four main types based on the genetic cause and the signs and symptoms. Niemann-Pick disease type A appears during infancy and is characterized by an enlarged liver and spleen (hepatosplenomegaly), failure to gain weight and grow at the expected rate (failure to thrive), and progressive deterioration of the nervous system. Due to the involvement of the nervous system, Niemann-Pick disease type A is also known as the neurological type. Children affected by this condition generally do not survive past early childhood.

Niemann-Pick disease type B has a

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Aging Census

Number of Older Americans growth of the population age 65 and over affects many aspects of our society, challenging families, businesses, health care providers, and policymakers, among others, to meet the needs of aging individuals.In 2010, 40 million people age 65 and over lived in the United States, accounting for 13 percent of the total population. The older population grew from 3 million in 1900 to 40 million in 2010. The oldest-old population (those age 85 and over) grew from just over 100,000 in 1900 to 5.5 million in 2010. The “Baby Boomers” (those born between 1946 and 1964) started turning 65 in 2011, and the number of older people will increase dramatically during the 2010–2030 period. The older population in 2030 is projected to be twice as large as their counterparts in 2000, growing from 35 million to 72 million and representing nearly 20 percent of the total U.S

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Alzheimers Disease Policy

Now it is projected that by 2050, as many as 16 million Americans will suffer from Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia that is a progressive, disabling and terminal disease of the mind and body. In 2013 alone, the direct costs of caring for those with Alzheimer’s will total an estimated $203 billion, including $142 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid. President Obama has demonstrated leadership by his most recent announcement of the BRAIN initiative — Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies — to focus on activity and connections in the brain to better understand diseases like Alzheimer’s. Mapping brain connections could perhaps offer treatment options and ultimately change the trajectory of the disease, which is imperative given the challenging budget climate.

When I served on the Select Committee on Aging in the Senate, I was surprised to learn that there was no

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What causes Huntington’s disease?

HD results from genetically programmed degeneration of nerve cells, called neurons,* in certain areas of the brain. This degeneration causes uncontrolled movements, loss of intellectual faculties, and emotional disturbance. Specifically affected are cells of the basal ganglia, structures deep within the brain that have many important functions, including coordinating movement. Within the basal ganglia, HD especially targets neurons of the striatum, particularly those in the caudate nuclei and the pallidum. Also affected is the brain’s outer surface, or cortex, which controls thought, perception, and memory.

How is Huntington’s disease inherited?
HD is found in every country of the world. It is a familial disease, passed from parent to child through a mutation or misspelling in the normal gene.
A single abnormal gene, the basic biological unit of heredity, produces HD. Genes are composed

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Binswanger’s Disease

Binswanger’s disease (BD), also called subcortical vascular dementia, is a type of dementia caused by widespread, microscopic areas of damage to the deep layers of white matter in the brain. The damage is the result of the thickening and narrowing (atherosclerosis) of arteries that feed the subcortical areas of the brain. Atherosclerosis (commonly known as “hardening of the arteries”) is a systemic process that affects blood vessels throughout the body. It begins late in the fourth decade of life and increases in severity with age. As the arteries become more and more narrowed, the blood supplied by those arteries decreases and brain tissue dies.

A characteristic pattern of BD-damaged brain tissue can be seen with modern brain imaging techniques such as CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The symptoms associated with BD are related to the disruption of subcortical neural

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Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

In 1881, Carl Wernicke first described an illness that consisted of paralysis of eye movements, ataxia, and mental confusion, in 3 patients. The patients, 2 males with alcoholism and a female with persistent vomiting following sulfuric acid ingestion, exhibited these findings, developed coma, and eventually died. On autopsy, Wernicke detected punctate hemorrhages affecting the gray matter around the third and fourth ventricles and aqueduct of Sylvius. He felt these to be inflammatory and therefore named the disease polioencephalitis hemorrhagica superioris.

Sergei Korsakoff, a Russian psychiatrist, described the disturbance of memory in the course of long-term alcoholism in a series of articles from 1887-1891. He termed this syndrome psychosis polyneuritica, believing that these typical memory deficits, in conjunction with polyneuropathy, represented different facets of the same

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What Is Parkinson Disease ?

Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Parkinson’s disease symptoms include muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in speech and gait. After diagnosis, treatments can help relieve symptoms, but there is no cure.Parkinson’s disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination. As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks. PD usually affects people over the age of 50. Early symptoms of PD are subtle and occur gradually. In some people the

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What is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease?

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare, degenerative, invariably fatal brain disorder. It affects about one person in every one million people per year worldwide; in the United States there are about 300 cases per year. CJD usually appears in later life and runs a rapid course. Typically, onset of symptoms occurs about age 60, and about 90 percent of individuals die within 1 year. In the early stages of disease, people may have failing memory, behavioral changes, lack of coordination and visual disturbances. As the illness progresses, mental deterioration becomes pronounced and involuntary movements, blindness, weakness of extremities, and coma may occur. In sporadic CJD, the disease appears even though the person has no known risk factors for the disease. This is by far the most common type of CJD and accounts for at least 85 percent of cases. In hereditary CJD, the person has a

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