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 of brain 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) 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 ***** symp*****m (senile dementia) is now being properly recognized as ***** illness. This new perspective of AD has resulted in a drastic*****y altered understand*****g and new approach towards diagnosis and treatment. Let us ***** ***** disease in a little detail by analyzing the symptoms ***** the etiology along with ***** 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, degenerative, and irreversible brain ***** that stifles the normal cognitive and functional abilities of the affected person. There is a gradual deterioration of the 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 th***** presents considerable difficulty in early identification of the disease. Ho*****ver in some patients there is a sudden *****nd rapid decline in brain function leading to death in a few ye*****rs. Since the human brain is very adaptive the onset of Alzheimer's disease may not be obvious and it is only when as much as 80% ***** the brain cells are damaged symptoms ***** conspicuous. [Bennett, 63]

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

Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

As *****ed ***** Alzheimer's disease is characterized by a wide variety ***** ***** from ***** loss or amnesia, language difficulties, Dyspraxia or difficulties in performing complex tasks to depression and other kinds of psychotic


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