About Alzheimer’s disease
We are dedicated to transforming the treatment of dementia through patient care, education and innovative research and clinical trials.
Dementia is a group of brain disorders resulting in memory loss, difficulty in communicating, concentrating and making decisions. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia where brain cells degenerate, causing a steady decline in memory and mental function.
Symptoms of dementia, like memory loss, can be related to normal aging or linked to other medical conditions, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis.
- Persisting and worsening memory loss
- Difficulty thinking and concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions, responding appropriately to everyday situations
- Familiar or routine activities become difficult to remember or complete
- Changes in personality and behavior
- Mood swings, irritability and loss of inhibitions
- Changes in sleep habits
Since there currently is not a single test to diagnose Alzheimer’s, a careful medical evaluation is needed. During this evaluation, your physician will also test for other conditions that may cause dementia like symptoms like depression, thyroid problem or a vitamin B12 deficiency among other conditions.
During this assessment, your provider will:
- Review your medical history
- Physical exam
- Neurological testing
- Psychiatric evaluation
- Cognitive and neuropsychological tests
- Genetic testing
- Laboratory testing
- Brain imaging
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but new treatments are available to slow the progression of the symptoms. Leading the discovery to develop a cure, prevention and reverse the effects of the disease, researchers at UT Health San Antonio are offering clinical studies to develop advanced treatments.
Causes and risks
Researchers believe, Alzheimer’s diseases is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors.
Risk factors include:
- Age – risk increases greatly after the age of 65. Early-onset Alzheimer’s symptoms can begin in the 30s.
- First-degree relatives with the disease
- Down syndrome
- Being a female
- Mild cognitive impairment
- Severe head trauma
- Lifestyle/lack of exercise
- High blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Poorly controlled type 2 diabetes
- Lack of education and social activities
Interested in learning more about neurodegenerative diseases?
Join us for our educational series, Dialogue on Dementia, featuring renowned physicians and scientists for dialogue on research regarding the onset and progression of dementia, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.