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Something Learned Within the Last Year That I Now Know A Lot About: Alzheimer's Disease - Term Paper Example

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The author focuses on Alzheimer's disease, a brain degeneration condition, where the progression is gradual but whose symptoms become evident in the sixth decade in the life of a person, and which is characterized by the slow erosion of the thinking capacities and memory capacities of the person…
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Something Learned Within the Last Year That I Now Know A Lot About: Alzheimers Disease
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Download file to see previous pages In the elderly, the most prevalent form of dementia is Alzheimer's. As a generalization of the condition of Alzheimer's, the umbrella condition dementia is a range of diseases affecting human cognition, degrading behavior, general thinking, capacity for reasoning, and memory, to the point where such degradation comes to hinder the persons' abilities to function normally on a day to day basis. In the most severe form of Alzheimers and dementia, the afflicted person develops total dependence on the care of other people in order to continue living. The disease owes its name to the discoverer of the disease, Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who diagnosed the condition in a woman who had died with the mental condition, and found, on examination, the presence of two of the three physical hallmarks of the disease, in fibrous tangles known as neurofibrillary tangles, and abnormal brain matter clumps called amyloid plaques. The third hallmark is the loss of neural connections in the brain (National Institute on Aging, 2012; Alzheimers Association, 2014; Emanuel, 2013; Kolata, 2012; Callaway, 2012; Gates, 2013; 2012; Hamblin, 2013).

The literature describes Alzheimer's like a disease whose onset is quiet and often undetected, occurring at least a decade before the actual symptoms as described above manifest themselves. In the beginning, the symptoms are mild, and the damage to brain cells is minimal, but over time the damage spreads and as it does the brain shrinks in the damaged areas, causing progressive declines in the cognitive and physiological capabilities of the afflicted persons. When the degradation spreads to the hippocampus, the memory starts to degrade as well, and in the terminal stages of the condition, the brain is a ravaged and shrunk organ (National Institute on Aging, 2012; Alzheimers Association, 2014; Emanuel, 2013; Kolata, 2012).

The average prognosis is for people to die within eight years from the surfacing of symptoms, even as life expectancy has come to range anywhere from four to twenty years. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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