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

The Alzheimer's *****

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

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

Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

As *****ed 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 ********** of psychotic

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