Alzheimer 's Disease And Its Effects On The Brain

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Last year my maternal Aunt Kate passed away. She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) about eight years earlier. My maternal grandmother also had been diagnosed with AD before her death. Later this month I will accompany my 77-year-old mother to her neurologist appointment. While she has not been diagnosed with AD, she has been prescribed Donepezil (Aricept), one of the newer drugs that are thought to reduce the decline in memory in patients that have or might be developing dementia. I welcome opportunities to learn more about AD and the effects on the brain. The Alzheimer’s Association website,, is filled with a wealth of this information. Especially interesting was “Inside the Brain: An Interactive Tour.” (Alzheimer 's Association, 2015). I learned about changes the normal brain experiences from early, mild to moderate and severe stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Beginning with the three main parts of the brain, the brain stem, the cerebellum, and the cerebrum, the website gives an overview of what I had studied in Basic Anatomy and Physiology class. The cerebrum, which controls memory, thinking, emotions, and voluntary movement, is the primary part of the brain affected by AD. In order to carry out its functions, the brain requires a rich blood supply of about 20 to 25 percent of the bodies’ blood total with each heartbeat. The whole vessel network picture demonstrates how vast the blood supply to the brain is and makes it
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