In the United States there are approximately 5.4 million people living with Alzheimer’s. Every sixty-nine seconds a person is diagnosed. This is an ongoing issue, and unless something is done, sixteen million people will be affected by 2050 (Latest). Alzheimer’s is a systemic disease, meaning that it affects more than one part of the body. There are three major systems that are affected by Alzheimer’s. The first involves the Central Nervous System. The CNS includes the brain and spinal cord, allowing the nervous system to make the spinal cord and brain function. The Central Nervous System is affected because specific brain proteins begin to malfunction and brain cells die. The loss of brain cells is the reason for memory loss and …show more content…
The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles every year and recent studies have found that women are more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s then men (Medicine). Symptoms of Alzheimer’s are hardly ever the same for any one patient. Although the side effects of Alzheimer’s can result in the similar symptoms, such as memory loss, cognitive impairment, difficulty focusing, and taking care of ones self can be an outcome for most patients. Many will have a different personality, loss of sight, sense of smell, as well as no longer being able to taste (Medicine). The diagnosis for Alzheimer’s is far from simple. Alzheimer’s begins when a patient reaches the final step of Dementia. There are many disorders that can impact the cause of Alzheimer’s. Neurological disorders include strokes, blood clots, and brain tumors that can be related to dementia. Psychiatric disorders also affect the way Alzheimer’s develops. Elderly people with forms of depression may show even earlier signs of Alzheimer’s such as impaired thinking. Lastly, Trauma can be a factor in Alzheimer patients. Head injuries can cause blood clots in and around the brain (Medicine).
The FDA recently has allowed two treatments to be used for Alzheimer patients. One of the treatments is a Partial Glutamate Antagonist, which is an important transmitter to the brain. It is said that Glutamate helps patients more than sugar pills do, however; it is said that too much
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Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly, accounting for 65–70% of all cases (Jellinger, Janetzky, Attems, & Kienzl, 2008). The other dementias are of the Parkinson 's group, the fronto-temporal group and the vascular group. The total worldwide yearly costs for the treatment and care of patients suffering from dementia are estimated to be around 250 billion US dollars. The lifetime risk for AD between the ages of 65 and 100 is 33% for men and 45% for women with an annual increase of 1–2% in the seventh decade to almost 60% in the 10th decade with doubling every 5 years (Jellinger et al., 2008). AD is incurable, and thus represents a major public health problem. AD represents a challenge to humanity due to its relatively recent discovery, progressive nature of the illness, and complex diagnosis.
The beginning and symptoms of Alzheimer's are usually very slow and gradual. Alzheimer’s hardly ever occurs before the age of 65. It occurs (according to the AHAF) in the following seven stages: In stage 1 There are no impairment- Unimpaired individuals experience no memory problems and none are evident to a health care professional during a medical interview. Stage 2 Is a very mild decline- Individuals at this stage feel as if they have memory lapses, especially in forgetting familiar words or names or the location of keys, eyeglasses, or other everyday objects. But these problems are not evident during a
The disease called Alzheimer’s is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States (Weiner, 1987). It is estimated that the elderly population will double between now and 2030. During this period, the number of elderly will grow by an average of 2.8% annually (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001). By 2050, the number of people with Alzheimer’s is estimated to range from 11.3 million to 16 million (Alzheimer’s Association, 2005). These startling numbers should prompt an examination into one of the leading causes of death among this group of people. Understanding what Alzheimer’s is and the known causes of the disease are a good starting point. For those who have aging family members, knowing the risk factors and warning
Alzheimer’s disease is a complex illness that affects the brain tissue directly and undergoes gradual memory and behavioral changes which makes it difficult to diagnose. It is known to be the most common form of dementia and is irreversible. Over four million older Americans have Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to triple in the next twenty years as more people live into their eighties and nineties. (Johnson, 1989). There is still no cure for Alzheimer’s but throughout the past few years a lot of progress has been made.
With the growing number of people becoming diagnosed, and experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, we must begin to take precautions and somehow attempt to gain knowledge of how the disease can be better treated, and ultimately prevented.
Alzheimer’s disease begins with memory loss, particularly short-term memory, and can end in loss of all cognitive function. Other losses include the ability to learn, to orient oneself to time and place, and to concentrate. Later, personality and behavioral problems develop such as irritability, agitation, and restlessness. Mood changes occur as well causing depression, frustration, anxiety, hostility, and mood swings. For some it can cause motor changes such as rigidity. Some of the worst possibilities include hallucinations and delusions, but usually that is not until the later stages. Nutrition is a big concern for those with Alzheimer’s as they may refuse to eat (Huether & McCance, 2014, p. 549). There are not many drugs used for Alzheimer’s disease. Mostly drugs are prescribed to treat the symptoms or mood changes such as psychotropic medications. The only drugs that are specifically for Alzheimer’s do not arrest the disease, but instead have a small chance at slowing it down. These drugs include Donepezil, Galantamine, and Rivastigmine are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors that cause less breakdown of acetylcholine and therefore higher levels of acetylcholine in the brain circuits that are lacking this neurotransmitter due to neuronal cell death. Side effects of these drugs include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, and rarely syncope (Blows, 2011, p. 296). Other
The risk factors can increase the possibility of having Alzheimer’s, but isn’t exactly linked to cause Alzheimer’s. Age, genetics, gender, cardiovascular disease, having down syndrome, depression, immune system malfunctions, endocrine (hormonal) disorders, slow-acting viruses or bacteria, vitamin deficiencies, exposure to electromagnetic fields and accumulation of metals such as zinc, copper, iron and aluminum in the body, or previous head injuries are the risk factors. If you’re older, a female, and have had other people in your bloodline with Alzheimer’s then your chances of getting Alzheimer’s are significantly increased. The chances of getting Alzheimer’s doubles every five years after the age 65. Some research says that the chances of getting Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes a gradual and irreversible decline of cognitive abilities (Feldman, 2010, p. 325). Informally known as “old timers” disease, it strikes more than half of the elderly community greater than age 85 (Feldman, 2010). In addition to the loss of memory there are also major neurological, functional, and behavioral changes as well. There are a few risk factors including age, family history, and head injuries. There is no definitive way of predicting that a person will get Alzheimer’s, but there are genetic markers and neurological tests that can signify a person’s
According to Alzheimer’s Association there are “more than five million Americans that are living with Alzheimer’s.” (e.g.) Over the years more people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer has increased which is very concerning. Especially, considering that there is still no known cure for it. Although, this is no cure that does stop researchers from looking for ways to prevent the aggressiveness of the disease. Alzheimer’s is a mysterious disease that we know little about, it is important to know what it is, what causes it, and possible treatments.
In people with Alzheimer’s, the neurons become disabled. For starters, Alzheimer’s interferes with the neurons ability to produce energy they need to do their work, a process known as metabolism. Neurons derive energy from the oxygen and glucose which is available through the bloodstream. Without this energy, neurons can no longer communicate with each other and carry impulses to other neurons. They also lose the ability to repair themselves, which ultimately causes them to die. Exactly what interferes with the functioning of the neurons is unclear, and the rate at which the disease progresses also varies from one person to another. Neuofibrillary tangles which is a tau protein that gives neurons their structure by binding to microtubules in a cell and
The Journal of the American Medical Association reports the latest break through in the study of gene causing Alzheimer’s has pointed to two genes, chromosomes 2 and 19 that cause the disease (7). The article also points out another gene, A polipoprotein E-e4, is also linked to Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease, Jose Vina and Ana Lloret writes that women are at higher risk of Alzheimer’s due
There are numerous symptoms involved in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, still a definitive diagnosis can only be done by autopsy. The cognitive function gradually changes in the forms of declining attention, learning, and judgment. Memory is also extremely affected, in which coincidentally impacts remote memory. Additional cognitive function failures are: difficulties in word finding and communication; declines in personal hygiene and self-care skills; inappropriate social behavior and changes in
Alzheimer's Disease is a condition that affects 50% of the population over the age of eighty five, which equals four million Americans each year. It is becoming an important and high-profile issue in today's society for everyone. There are rapid advancements being made in the fight against this disease now more than ever, and the purpose of this essay is to educate the public on the background as well as the new discoveries. There are many new drugs that are being tested and studied every day which slow down, and may even halt the progress of the disease.
Alzheimer disease of the elderly has several stages. All the stages have various symptoms. Common early symptoms of Alzheimer disease include disturbances in short-term