Essay Preview: Alzheimers
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Alzheimers disease is described as a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a persons memory and clarity to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate, and carry out daily life. (r.1) Alzheimers is a disturbing disease affecting millions of elderly people. A persons risk for the disease is fifty-percent when they reach the age of eighty-five.(r.1) Scientists have been studying the disease for many years now in hope to find answers to a cure for this depressive disease. The disease is persistently being studied with the hope of cures, and a better understanding of how one person can conquer Alzheimers disease.
Alzheimers disease contains no known single cause. Scientists are patiently and determinedly studying every aspect of the disease in hope to establish a precise cause. Late-onset Alzheimers cause relates to the increasing age of an individual and the family history of the disease. (r.1) Statistics exemplify the discovery of one specific gene which contributes to the increasing rate of late-onset Alzheimers. Persons with rare, familial types of Alzheimers are found connected to hundreds of families linked to a specific gene. (r.1) Those whom inherit the specific gene are almost guaranteed to obtain the Alzheimers disease. The gene also will affect the person by the age of sixty-five, and even as early as their thirties and forties.(r.1) Another popular theory for the cause of the disease other then genetics includes the decreasing of brains cells through either strokes or ageing. Beth Miller, an Alzheimers Association representative stated,” Persons may develop a miniature stroke where they may not even notice they are experiencing a stroke, but their brain cell count decreases. Too many of these miniature strokes can cause memory loss and result in Alzheimers.”(r.2)
Beth explained that as [one] ages [your] brain cells begin to die off, causing permanent damage. [She] also stressed the fact that scientists have not concluded a specific cause for the Alzheimers disease, and theyre hoping with the development of new technology we may finally determine a single cause. (r.2)
Alzheimers disease is a progressive form of dementia that gradually destroys their memory, cognitive ability, and ability to fend for themselves.(r.3) Symptoms for Alzheimers disease are long and complex. Many people mistake the symptoms for Alzheimers disease for old age. The first sign is memory loss. The most common signs of Alzheimers are forgetting recently learned information. The second symptom is difficulty performing familiar tasks. People begin to find it difficult to perform and complete everyday tasks that were once easy, such as cooking a meal or participating in a hobby. The next sign is problems with their language. Those with Alzheimers disease forget the simplest of words and begin to substitute words which do not make sense to the common listener. Their writing skills also begin to lack. The fourth sign is disorientation to time and place. Many become lost on their own street. They begin to loose their way and can sometimes become very lost. The fifth sign is poor or decreased judgment. A person with Alzheimers begins to dress without any regard to the weather, or wear abnormal clothing. Next they begin to think abstractly. They may forget to do their taxes, to balance their check books, or other tasks that require a little use of thinking. Then they begin to misplace objects, beginning with little items such as their car keys, but then progressing to forgetting where they parked their car, where they put their jewelry and other important items. Those with the disease contain rapid mood swings and their personalities begin to alter dramatically. The last sign is loss of initiative. Researchers show that they begin to watch television for hours, and sleep more then normal. They begin to loose interest in things they once loved. (r.1)
There are seven main stages of the disease. It begins with no cognitive impairment, then to very mild cognitive decline, to mild cognitive decline, to moderate cognitive decline, to moderately severe cognitive decline, to severe cognitive decline, and finally to very severe cognitive decline. This is the latest stage where they begin to become apart of the disease Dementia. (r.4) The impairments are extreme and the stages can range for a long period of time or for very little. Research describes the symptoms as easy to establish and extremely noticeable once past the first three stages.
The diagnosis for the disease is correct eighty to ninety-percent of the time.(r.5) Scientist have discovered a method to find out whether there are plaques and tangles in the brain through the use of a microscope. The method can be scary and risky to remove brain tissue while a person is alive. Doctors cannot look at the tissue until they do an autopsy of the body, which can only occur after the death of the individual.(r.5) Many doctors declare a person with Alzheimers disease only through the symptoms. Blood tests have been experimented to establish the diagnosis, but mainly the only way to give an accurate declaration of the disease is through an autopsy. (r.5)
Although there is no known cure for Alzheimers disease, there are numbers of medications used to slow down the cognitive deterioration. The goal for the medications are to improve cognitive ability, to think, perceive, judge and recognize.(r.6) Namenda is a popular