Alzheimer 's A Progressive Disease

865 Words Oct 23rd, 2015 4 Pages
Imagine greeting your grandparents and being met with a blank stare. Visualize your father struggling to recall how to dress himself. Picture your own mother asking for her parents who have long since passed. Try to envision the expression on your parents’ face as you tell them that they can no longer live at home alone. Now picture yourself in their place: gradually losing your freedom, your memory, and your very own identity. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that slowly destroys the brain’s function of memory and cognition. Eventually, it terminates the person’s ability to do everyday tasks and requires the person to be under around-the-clock care. Alzheimer’s disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer. In 1906, Dr. Alzheimer noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unknown mental illness (“Alzheimer’s & Brain”). The woman’s symptoms included memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. After she passed away, he examined her brain and found many abnormalities, including plaques and tangled fibers. The plaques are found between the dying cells in the brain, caused by buildup of a protein called beta-amyloid. The tangles are within the brain’s neurons, caused by the disintegration of the protein, tau (“Alzheimer 's Disease: Causes”). Further research led Dr. Alzheimer to conclude that the buildup of beta-amyloid and the disintegration of tau are the primary reasons for the onset of the disease. Alzheimer’s disease is medically…
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