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Alzheimer disease - Essay Example

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Running Head: Alzheimer’s Disease Alzheimer’s Disease Name of Writer Alzheimer’s Disease Introduction Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive ailment that impacts the cognitive processes of human beings. The ultimate outcome is death while the exact causes of the disease are relatively unknown…
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Download file to see previous pages These neurons and synapses are lost when the individual begins to develop Alzheimer’s disease. The cerebral cortex and subcortical regions are impacted because gross atrophy is found in these regions (Pashek & DiVenere, 2006: p. 143). The temporal lobe and parietal lobe witness degeneration which can lead to the progression of the disease. AD causes specific brain regions to shrink which has been corroborated by the presence of MRI and PET reports (Wilson et al, 2008: p, 45). Definition Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a form of dementia that is incurable. It is a progressive disease in which the conditions of the patient worsen with the passage of time with the ultimate outcome being death. The disease was first identified by a German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer in the early 20th century. AD is found to be prevalent in people above the age of 65 years. Currently, it is estimated that there are 26.8 million patients with the disease (Small & Perry, 2005: p. 125). The causes of the disease are unknown while medication seems to alleviate some of the symptoms. Disease Start AD starts when individuals suffer from short term memory loss. They might also be suffering from language problems and encountering difficulty in concentrating. Additionally, behavioral problems might be exhibited in individuals with mood swings and anger being the primary symptoms (Small et al, 2003: p. 353). The difficulties in perception, executive functions, and movements can also signal the onset of the disease among individuals. This gradually worsens with the passage of time as more intermediate and severe forms of symptoms are witnessed in individuals. Role of Environment Empirical studies are studying the impact of environmental factors upon the development of AD in individuals. This approach seeks to move away from the widespread emphasis on genetic factors as being the primary cause of AD (Small et al, 2005: p. 5). Studies are being conducted to investigate the relationship between cognitive decline and vascular and metabolic conditions. For instance, a study was conducted by the Rhode Island Hospital which found a link between nitrates in the environment and Alzheimer’s disease. Nitrates are found in increasing numbers in the environment as well as in processed foods. People who are vulnerable to heart disease might have a greater chance of developing AD. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are considered to be having a possible link with the development of AD (Tomoeda et al, 2006: p. 151). Research is still being conducted into the role of environmental factors in developing AD. This research is still inconclusive which means that there is the need for clear and precise goals. it is through the use of innovative and creative strategies that success can be attained within a short period of time. It is hoped that the study of the causes of AD will help in the development of effective and efficient medications to combat the disease. Causes The exact causes of AD are still unknown despite decades of research into the problem. Genetics is considered to partly cause this disease as autosomal dominant inheritance has been witnessed in patients (Blacker et al, 2009: p. 1198). The oldest hypothesis is that AD is caused because the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is diminished in brains. However, this hypothesis has become unacceptable because medications that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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