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


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Alzheimer's Disease

Introduction

Alzheimer's 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 ***** ***** disorders contribut*****g 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) ***** kind of overshadowed ***** study of late ***** Alzheimer in elderly group. However the ***** statistics indicate an increasing susceptibility of the older *****. Approximately 5% of the population above 65 years ***** age and around 20% of the people above 85 years of age are affected by Alzheimer's disease. Hence what ***** previously ignored as an inevitable old ***** symp*****m (senile dementia) is now being properly recognized as an illness. This new perspective of AD has resulted in a drastic*****y altered underst**********g and ***** approach towards diagnosis and treatment. Let us study the disease in a little detail by analyzing the symptoms ***** the etiology along with the diagnostic approaches and the currently available treatment methods. In the process we will also briefly discuss some o*****r common ***** of dementia and how AD can be differentiated from them.

The Alzheimer's *****

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

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

Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

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

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