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

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Alzheimer's Disease


***** 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 ***** most prevalent forms ***** ***** d*****orders contributing to as much ***** 50 to 70 % of all reported cases of dementia. Over the years ***** study of early onset Alzheimer's disease (pre-senile AD) has kind of overshadowed the study of late onset Alzheimer in elderly group. However the disease statistics indicate an increasing susceptibility of the older population. Approximately 5% ***** the population above 65 years of age and around 20% ***** the people above 85 years of age are affected by ********** disease. Hence what was previously ignored as an inevitable old age symp*****m (senile dementia) is now being properly recognized as an illness. ***** new perspective of AD has resulted in a drastically altered understanding and new approach towards diagnosis and treatment. Let us study the disease in a little det*****il by analyzing the symptoms and the etiology along with ***** diagnostic approaches and the currently available treatment methods. In the process we will also briefly discuss some o*****r common ***** ***** dementia and how AD can be differentiated from them.

The Alzheimer's Disease

***** is a progressive, degener*****tive, and irreversible brain ***** that stifles the n*****mal cognitive and functional abilities of the ***** person. There is a gradual deterioration of ***** mental faculties, which may ultimately lead to *****tal dysfunction of the brain resulting in the death of ***** patient. In general the progress of the disease is very slow ***** steady and th***** presents considerable difficulty in early identification of ********** disease. Ho*****ver ***** some *****s there is a sudden *****nd 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 ***** 80% of the ***** cells are damaged symptoms are conspicuous. [Bennett, 63]

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

Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

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


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