Alzheimer’s Disease: Major Causes

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Research has shown that Alzheimer’s occurs secondary to the accumulation of beta-amyloid and tau proteins that adhere to and damage neurons in the brain. The tangles that develop also disrupt communication between the cells. The loss of communication and neurons causes the disease process. For some, genetics plays a role in Alzheimer’s development. However, there are many other possible causes. 

Poor Cardiovascular Health

The brain relies on the oxygen and nutrients in the blood pumped through the organ by the cardiovascular system. Abnormal heart rhythms, vascular blockages, and heart valve problems all interfere with circulation, which in turn deprives the neurons of the nutrition needed to perform. If the neurons and the functions occurring in the brain become hampered, the brain becomes more susceptible to the accumulation of the damaging proteins that lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, help is just a phone call away. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading homecare services provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

Certain Medications

Medications that belong to the class of drugs called benzodiazepines have been proven to cause irreparable damage when taken long-term. Canadian scientists studied 9,800 older adults to determine the effects of alprazolam, clonazepam, and lorazepam on the brain. Of all the study participants, 1,796 of the test subjects were living with Alzheimer’s. After six years of following the group, the researchers found that the seniors who took benzodiazepines for more than three months had a 51 percent higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. 

Head Injuries

Microglial cells in the brain are responsible for eliminating the buildup of proteins that damage the neurons. However, when inflammation develops, the microglia cannot perform as needed. For this reason, head injuries pose a risk for Alzheimer’s. When a brain injury occurs, inflammation aids in the healing process. However, neuroscientists from the University of Florida found that in some people, inflammation continues even after the completion of the healing process. The reason for the chronic condition remains a mystery. However, the study demonstrated how traumatic brain injury may lead to Alzheimer’s.

Aging adults who need help managing mental and physical health issues can benefit from the assistance of highly trained professional caregivers. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Opelika, AL, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Sleep Deprivation

A study published in Neurobiology of Aging explained how sleep deprivation hastens the development of Alzheimer’s. Seniors need seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night. If older adults have chronic pain, urinary retention issues, or other medical problems, they’re unable to get a full night of uninterrupted sleep. Researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia found that when laboratory animals were deprived of sleep, they demonstrated an accumulation of tau proteins in the brain. 


Seniors need to have contact with friends and loved ones throughout their lives. An article in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry described a study in which scientists followed older adults for three years and monitored their sleep patterns. The group found that loneliness increases the likelihood of Alzheimer’s development by 1.63 times. Although the connection between being lonely and neuron damage remains a mystery, the study demonstrates the importance of socializing for older adults.

If you’re the primary caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you don’t have to go through it alone. Without the right assistance, Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors and their families to handle. If you’re looking for professional Alzheimer’s care, Opelika Home Care Assistance provides high-quality care aging adults and their families can count on. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers are trained to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live happier and healthier lives, and we also provide specialized dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (334) 744-7100.


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