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Alzheimers Disease - Essay Example

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 The essay aims to address a two-fold objective to wit: to study further Alzheimer’s disease; to explain the concept of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists are also looking for the creation of a vaccine that may prevent an occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. …
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Alzheimers Disease
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Alzheimer’s Disease
The essay aims to address a two-fold objective to wit: (1) to study further Alzheimer’s disease; and (2) to explain the concept of Alzheimer’s disease and use information from outside sources.
Alzheimer’s disease was named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a physician who noted conversation with Auguste D. (an Alzheimer’s patient) and described findings of amyloid plaques and fiber tangles in Auguste D’s brain during an autopsy (Lu & Bludau, 2011, 2). At first, it was thought that Alzheimer’s disease occur in people younger than 65 and dementia is the term for those older that 65; however, the autopsy report of Dr. Alois suggested that Alzheimer’s disease was the most common cause of dementia in older people (Harvard Health Publications, 2009, p. 3).
Alzheimer’s disease is defined as a progressive, degenerative brain disorder manifested by memory loss, impaired thinking, difficulty in finding the right word when speaking, and personality changes and which eventually lead to cases of dementia (Harvard Health Publications, 2009, p. 2). Continual loss of nerve cells and synapses and decreasing levels of neurotransmitters which are crucial to memory, mental functions, and relaying of complex messages to the nerve cells in the body affects not only the cognitive aspect but also the activities of daily living and one’s personality.
The prevalence rate of diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease is approximately more than five million and by 2050, 11 to 16 million of American population will be probably diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; that is, one in eight people ages 65 and above is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease cause financial and emotional strain to families and is estimated to have caused the nation a $148 billion health costs annually (Lu & Bludau, 2011, 3).
When a person was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it usually takes 8-10 years to death. Because there is no cure or prevention for the disease, it is essential that different warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease are noted in order to prompt early diagnosis and care and to temporarily stabilize or delay worsening of symptoms through drug interventions. In line with this, the Harvard Health Publications (2009) identified seven warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, which includes: trouble remembering things starting from short-term memory such as a new acquaintance then progressing to loss of long-term memory such as recognition of family members; mood or personality changes (very angry to sad, socially-outgoing to withdrawn, and signs of depression); trouble completing ordinary tasks such as simple tooth brushing; difficulty expressing thoughts particularly in language (e.g. ringer for telephone); impaired judgments such as inability to balance a checkbook; disorientation manifested by losing track of date and time; and unusual behavior like wandering in the community (p. 3).
Despite unavailability of curative and preventive strategies, scientists and researchers are studying for chemical changes of what caused Alzheimer’s disease and for compounds that may probably block the destructive course of the disease and eventually, may lead to cure. Scientists are also looking for the creation of a vaccine that may prevent occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. These interventions are merely theoretical propositions and may take time to provide relief to millions of affected individuals. However, science-based studies have provided means on how to improve the day-to-day lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease (Harvard Health Publications, 2009, p. 2).
Harvard Health Publications. (2009). What is Alzheimer’s Disease? Alzheimer’s Disease? A Guide to Alzheimer's Disease (p. 2-3). MA: Harvard Health Publications.
Lu, L.C. & Bludau, J.H. (2011). What is Alzheimer’s Disease? Alzheimer’s Disease (p. 1-14). CA: Greenwood Publishing Group. Read More
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