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 ***** 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 the study of early onset Alzheimer's disease (pre-senile AD) has kind ***** overshadowed ***** study of late ***** Alzheimer in elderly group. However the ***** statistics indicate an increasing susceptibility of the older population. Approximately 5% ***** the population above 65 years of age and around 20% ***** the people above 85 years of age are affected by Alzheimer's disease. Hence what was previously ignored as an inevitable old age symp*****m (senile dementia) is now being properly recognized as ***** illness. This new perspective of AD has resulted in a drastic*****y altered underst*****ing and ***** approach towards diagnosis and treatment. Let us ***** ***** disease in a little detail by analyzing the symptoms and the etiology along with the diagnostic approaches and the currently available treatment methods. In the process we will also briefly discuss some other common ***** of ***** 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 the mental faculties, which may ultimately lead to *****tal dysfunction of the brain resulting in ***** death of the patient. In general the progress of the disease is very slow ***** steady and this presents considerable difficulty in early identification of the disease. However ***** some *****s ********** is a sudden ********** rapid decline in brain function leading to death in a few years. Since the human brain 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 symptoms ***** conspicuous. [Bennett, 63]

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

Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

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

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