Alzheimer 's Disease : A Slow Progressing Neurodegenerative Disease Essay

1694 WordsDec 8, 20167 Pages
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a slow-progressing neurodegenerative disease that has no cure and most often affects people over the age of sixty-five. Neurodegeneration is characterized by the loss of function in the central nervous system due to degeneration of neurons found mostly in the brain. The most recent data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that AD is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. The cause of Alzheimer’s is still not completely understood, but the current theory is that it appears to be genetic in which many genes are involved. AD is also the most common form of dementia and accounts for 60-80% of cases (Alzheimer’s Association 2016). Dementia is not a disease itself, but instead is characterized by a group of symptoms that is caused by brain disease or injury in which memory, personality, and reasoning skills are affected. Alzheimer’s disease was discovered in the early 20th century by Alois Alzheimer. Alois was a German neurologist and psychiatrist who first identified the symptoms of AD in a 51-year-old patient of his who was known simply by the name Auguste D. This patient was brought to him in 1901 by her family who could no longer care for her due to her changed personality traits including aggression, memory loss, language, and other behavioral deficits. Alois followed the patient for 5 years (until her death) and noted how she had developed severe memory loss, unreasonable suspicions about her family, and
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