Alzheimer’s Disease: The Neurological Thief
Ashley E. Campbell
October 31, 2015
Alzheimer’s Disease: The Neurological Thief It is a wicked disease that slowly steals our loved ones memories, independence and eventually their lives. While no one knows the exact cause of Alzheimer’s Disease, it is the leading cause of dementia related deaths to date. It was first described in 1906 by Alois Alzheimer, a German psychologist and neurologist. Alzheimer’s Disease is a neurological disorder in which brain cells die. This death of brain cells causes progressive decline in, behavioral and cognitive ability and most notably, loss of memory (Diseases and Conditions, 2014). There are several theories of…show more content… Diagnosis
Determining that Alzheimer’s Disease is the cause of dementia usually begins by examining the patient’s cognitive and behavioral history over the span of years. Sudden onset of dementia is more likely the result of other issues such as head trauma, stroke, medication, etc. These can be ruled out by test such as brain scans, and blood/urine samples. Inherited disease, such as Huntington 's disease, can be ruled out by a genetic test. Although molecular, functional and structural scans to look for amyloid plaques they cannot be used as a diagnostic tool but is extremely critical in ongoing research. Below are the criteria that are looked at during diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. A patient with two or more of the physician listed symptoms are considered to have Alzheimer’s Disease. Symptoms include worsened memory, impaired reasoning skills, impaired visuospatial ability, impaired communication, and changes in personality/behavior. (Diseases and Conditions, 2014).
Treatment and Research
Diagnosis can be at any stage of Alzheimer’s Disease. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the patient and care takers can prepare a proper treatment plan and monitor progression. Alzheimer’s Disease may be treated with various drugs to help with cognitive symptoms such as cholinesterase inhibitors. Non-chemical treatments are used help with behavioral symptoms such as allowing