Essay - Alzheimer's Disease Introduction Alzheimer's Disease Has Developed into a Major...


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Alzheimer's Disease

Introduction

***** disease has developed into a major health concern for the elderly population throughout the world. This degenerative brain disorder was first described by Alois Alzheimer in 1907. Today Alzheimer's is one of the most prevalent forms of brain disorders contributing to as much as 50 to 70 % of all reported c*****es of dementia. Over the years the study of early onset Alzheimer's disease (pre-senile AD) has kind of overshadowed ***** study of late onset Alzheimer in elderly group. However the disease statistics indicate an increasing susceptibility of the older *****. Approximately 5% ***** the population above 65 years of age and around 20% of the people above 85 years of age are affected by ********** *****. Hence what was previously ignored as an inevitable old age symptom (senile dementia) is now being properly recognized as an illness. This new perspective of ***** h***** resulted in a drastic*****y altered understand*****g and new approach towards diagnosis and treatment. Let us ***** the disease in a little det*****il by analyzing the symptoms and the etiology along with the diagnostic approaches and the currently available treatment methods. In the pro*****s we will also briefly discuss some o*****r common forms ***** dementia and how AD can be differentiated from them.

The Alzheimer's *****

***** is a progressive, degenerative, and irreversible ***** ***** that stifles the normal cognitive and functional abilities of the affected person. There is a gradual deterioration of the mental faculties, which may ultimately lead to *****tal dysfunction ***** the brain resulting in ***** death of the patient. In general the progress ***** the d*****ease is very slow ***** steady and this presents considerable difficulty in early identification of ***** disease. ***** in some patients there is a sudden and rapid decline in brain function leading to death in a few *****. Since the human brain is very adaptive ***** onset of Alzheimer's disease may not be obvious and it is only when as much as 80% ***** the ***** cells are damaged symptoms ***** conspicuous. [Bennett, 63]

The main cause for the ***** is the destruction of the brain cells particularly in the cortex region. In ***** first stage ***** the disease ***** region in the cerebral cortex that is associated w*****h memory is affected. Then as the dise*****e progresses other regions in the cerebral cortex also undergo progressive deterioration ***** to total impairment of functional and cognitive *****. Though as in any ***** ********** of dementia syndrome memory loss is one of the chief ***** noticeable problems the effect ***** the dise*****e extends to much more than memory loss and in ***** of the cases there is a ***** crippling of the br*****in functions *****by affecting ***** individuals ability ***** relate ***** respond appropriately to the outside world.

Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

As ********** above Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a wide variety of symptoms from ***** loss or amnesia, language difficulties, Dyspraxia or difficulties in perf*****ming complex tasks to depression and o*****r *****s of psychotic

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