Alzheimer 's : An Irreversible Progressive Brain Disease

2665 Words11 Pages
Kimberley Malone
May 4, 2015


• Alzheimer’s is an irreversible progressive brain disease
• Alzheimer’s slowly destroys memory, thinking skills, and the ability to carry out simple daily tasks
• Most symptoms appear at age 65
• 5 million Americans 65 and older may have Alzheimer’s disease
• Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia among elderly people
• The disease itself is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer’s o In 1906 he noticed brain tissue in women changing and dying of an usual mental illness o The symptoms included memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior o After she died Dr. Alzheimer’s found various abnormal clumps in her brain (amyloid plaques) and tangled
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• Moderate Alzheimer’s Symptoms: o Damage occurs in area of the brain that controls language, reasoning, sensory, processing, and curious thought o Problems recognizing family and friends o Unable to learn new things
• Sever Alzheimer’s Symptoms: o Plaques and tangles have spread throughout entire brain and brain tissue has completely shrunk o Severe Alzheimer’s patients cannot communicate with others and need full time care o Near the end, person may be bed ridden as the body shuts down
• What causes Alzheimer’s o Etiology is not fully understood o It is clear that is develops from a complex sequence of events that happen in the brain over a long span of time o It is likely a mix of environmental, genetic, and lifestyle factors o All of these factors may differ from person to person o A great mystery is why Alzheimer’s affects older adults
• Genetics o Early onset Alzheimer’s is a rare form of the disease itself o Occurs in people age 30-60 o Represent less than 5
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