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 of bra***** disorders contributing to as much as 50 to 70 % of all reported c*****es of dementia. Over the years ***** study of early onset Alzheimer's disease (pre-senile AD) ***** kind ***** overshadowed the study of late ***** Alzheimer in elderly group. However the disease statistics indicate an increasing susceptibility of the older population. 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 *****. Hence what was previously ignored as an inevitable old ***** symptom (senile dementia) is now being properly recognized as an illness. ***** new perspective of AD has resulted in a drastically altered underst**********g and new approach towards diagnosis and treatment. Let us study the disease in a little detail by analyzing the symptoms and the etiology along with the diagnostic approaches and ***** currently available treatment methods. In the pro*****s 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, degenerative, and irreversible *****in disease that stifles the normal cognitive and functional abilities of the ***** person. There is a gradual deterioration of ***** mental faculties, which may ultimately lead to *****tal dysfunction ***** the brain resulting in the death of the patient. In general the progress of the disease is very slow and steady and this presents considerable difficulty in early identification of the disease. Ho*****ver ***** some *****s ********** is a sudden and rapid decline in brain function leading to death in a few *****. Since the hum*****n ***** is very adaptive ***** onset of Alzheimer's disease may not be obvious and it is only when as much ***** 80% ***** the brain cells are damaged ***** are conspicuous. [Bennett, 63]

The main cause for the ***** is the destruction of ***** ***** cells particularly in the cortex region. In ***** first stage ***** the disease ***** region in the cerebral cortex that is associated with memory is affected. Then as the disease progresses other regions ***** the ***** cortex ***** undergo progressive deterioration leading to total impairment of functional and cognitive abilities. Though as in any other *****m ***** ***** syndrome memory loss is one of the chief ***** *****iceable problems the effect ***** the ***** extends to much more than ***** loss and in ***** of the c*****es there is a ***** crippling of the brain functions *****by affecting ***** individuals ability to re***** and 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 ***** in perf*****ming complex tasks to depression ***** o*****r ********** of psychotic

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