Alzheimer 's Disease : A Progressive Disease

925 Words4 Pages
Alzheimer 's disease is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other vital mental functions. Alzheimer 's disease is the most common cause of dementia, a group of brain disorders that cause the loss of intellectual and social skills. AD can eventually render a person unable to function in society and to even care for themselves. Since the disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States constant research is being done to try to prevent it and to find a cure. Alzheimer 's disease (AD) is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions and is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer 's disease is the most common cause of dementia — a group of brain disorders that cause the loss of…show more content…
Unfortunately, the effects on the patient’s brain has been found to develop years before the first symptoms become noticeable. By the time the behavioral and mental symptoms appear, permanent damage to nerve cells in certain areas of the brain may have already happened.
There are currently no specific tests for AD. A physician will perform several tests on a patient, beginning with a physical and neurological exam. The Mayo clinic has a set of criteria they use when determining if someone has AD. They will test reflexes, sense of sight and hearing, muscle tone and strength, ability to get up from a chair and walk across the room, coordination and balance. Blood test will be done to rule out other disorders. Doctors will also perform tests on memory and cognition. They will also perform brain imaging through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer tomography (CT) scan, or a positron emission tomography (PET) scan. The last one that is used in only rare occasions is the testing of cerebrospinal fluid. In special situations, like progressive dementia or very young onset dementia, a cerebrospinal fluid exam may be done. The spinazzl fluid can be tested for biomarkers that indicate the likelihood of Alzheimer 's disease. Two structural abnormalities have been found in the brains of Alzheimer patients. The first is Amyloid plaques which are clusters of protein fragments (Aβ-peptide) that come from a protein called amyloid precursor protein (APP), which is
Open Document