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 ***** world. This degenerative brain disorder was first described by Alois Alzheimer in 1907. Today Alzheimer's is one of the most prevalent forms ***** ***** disorders contributing to as much as 50 to 70 % of all reported cases of dementia. Over the years ***** study of early onset Alzheimer's disease (pre-senile AD) has kind ***** 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% of the people above 85 years of age are affected by Alzheimer's *****. Hence what was previously ignored as an inevitable old age symp*****m (senile *****) is now being properly recognized as ***** 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 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 f*****ms of dementia and how AD can be differentiated from them.

The ***** *****

***** is a progressive, degenerative, and irreversible brain disease that stifles the normal cognitive and functional abilities of the ***** person. There is a gradual deterioration of the mental faculties, which may ultimately lead to *****tal dysfunction of the brain resulting in ***** death of the patient. In general the progress ***** the ***** ***** very slow ***** steady and this presents considerable difficulty in early identification of ***** disease. ***** ***** some *****s there is a sudden and rapid decline in brain function leading to death in a few *****. Since the human brain is very adaptive the onset of Alzheimer's disease may not be obvious and it is only when as much ***** 80% of the ***** cells are damaged ***** are 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 the region in ***** cerebral cortex that is associated with memory is affected. Then as the dise*****e *****es other regions ***** the ***** cortex ***** undergo progressive deterioration leading to total impairment of functional and cognitive *****. Though as in any ***** form ***** dementia syndrome ***** loss is one of the chief and noticeable problems the effect ***** the dise*****e extends to much more than memory loss and in most of the cases ********** is a *****t*****l crippling of the ***** functions *****reby affecting the individuals ability to re***** and respond appropriately to the outside world.

Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

As *****ed ***** Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a wide variety ***** symptoms from memory loss or amnesia, language difficulties, Dyspraxia or ***** in per*****ing complex tasks to depression ***** o*****r ********** of psychotic


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