Alzheimer’s Disease: The Neurological Thief Ashley E. Campbell Psychology 210 October 31, 2015 Malvereen Harris 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
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Alzheimer’s disease is a common problem in today’s society and within the older population this disease makes up the largest form of dementia. Although it is a problem in mainly older people, this disease can still occur in the younger population also. People in their 30s-50s can be diagnosed with this disease, even though it is not as common as people in their 60s-90s. The number of people with Alzheimer’s in the U.S. is close to five million and is expected to double within the next 30 years. With our modern medicine and advancements one would think a cure would be available, however, getting to the cause of the disease is a major factor. The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is one that is very debatable and questionable and most likely is a result of multiple factors rather than one. The main issue with finding the cause is because this disease affects the brain and can
Alzheimer's disease, first described by the German neurologist Alois Alzheimer, is a physical disease affecting the brain. During the course of the disease, protein 'plaques' and 'tangles' develop in the structure of the brain, leading to the death of brain cells. People
Scientists have actually come up with some preventative measures against Alzheimer’s and the onset of this horrendous disease. Physical activity, brain stimulation (such as puzzles, games, regularly reading, watching television, and any other type of social activity), nutritious diet, and also there is an ongoing search for a vaccine. I saw where in Europe they actually treat their age-related dementia patients with gingko biloba. Gingko biloba is thought
The biggest difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is that Alzheimer’s is degenerative and irreversible at this time. According to the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's disease accounts for 50-70 percent of cases of dementia (Sahyouni et al, 2017). However, there are other disorders that cause dementia such as Vascular dementia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, dementia with Lewy Bodies and Frontotemporal dementia. In the early stages of many of these disease there are obvious differences in symptoms however, as the disease progresses the differences become more subtle, which can often lead to misdiagnoses. Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells. Each region of the brain is responsible for different function. Thus, when brain cells get damaged in certain areas of the brain the cells can not carry out their functions. This in turn causes cognitive and behavioral problems to occur. There is no specific test that can determine if one has dementia or Alzheimer’s. A diagnoses comes from a doctor's careful assessment of the patient’s medical history, a physical and cognitive functioning examination, and laboratory tests (Mayo Clinic on Alzheimer’s).
Dementias are neurodegenerative disorders and Alzheimer’s disease is just one type. Although the most frequent cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, there are many causes of dementia. Saying someone has dementia is actually not a diagnosis it’s more of a clinical syndrome. Like saying someone has heartburn or a headache, the underlying cause of the dementia must be uncovered in order to classify it. Dementia impairs cognitive function in many different ways. It can involve memory, language, thinking, reasoning, and perception (Radin, 2003, p. 29). Some classifications of dementia include: frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia, but other degenerative diseases such as Huntington’s
Alzheimer 's disease is an ongoing condition that destroys the connection of cells in the brain. According to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), it is estimated that as many as 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer 's disease today. Alzheimer 's disease was discovered by a German physician named Alois Alzheimer. In 1906, Dr. Alzheimer saw changes in the brain tissue of a woman who died from what he presumed to be a mental illness. He described her symptoms as memory loss, language complications, and unpredictable actions. After she died, he examined her brain to further understand how she died. He discovered distinctive plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in her brain tissue.
In addition, Alzheimer in America was found in between 2 million to 4 million people (2). However, doctors believe this number is still going up, yet there is no specific treatment for it. For example, a person who is about 65 years old with Alzheimer have to go throw different test to identify the level of damaged cells in the brain (2). To add, in most cases Alzheimer cannot be treated and the patient could die (2). Some people have larger chances of developing Alzheimer in them due to previous diseases such as dawn syndrome patients (2). In brief, patient with Alzheimer suffer from brain cells damaging, feeling of lost, forgetting many memories, and feeling scared
The only treatment known now is medication. There are 4 approved medications, Galantamine, Donepezil, Memantine, and Rivastigmine Scientists are working to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and more treatments. It would be nice to have a treatment that doesn’t just mask the symptoms.
The causes of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown but scientists do know that Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging and the majority of people with this disease are sixty-five or older. Although it is most common in the elderly, up to five percent of Alzheimer’s patients are in the mid to late thirties and forties. Scientists also believe that Alzheimer’s disease is a result from someone’s environment, lifestyle, and certain genetic factors that affect the brain in abnormal ways over time. There are no definitive causes of the disease yet but it has a very clear effect of the brain. A person that has Alzheimer’s, their
Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a type of dementia that is irreversible and it causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. The symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. (“Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia,” n.d.). Dementia is a term for a decrease in the intellectual ability which it can be severe enough to interfere with an individual’s day to day life. The German neurologist Alois Alzheimer was the first person to label and decode the symptoms of Alzheimer 's disease. In 1901 Alois did a study on a woman named Auguste Deter. She was 51 years of age and she was having problems with memory and other psychological problems.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that gradually destroys brain cells, affecting a person’s memory and their ability to learn, make judgments, communicate and carry out basic daily activities. The disease is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain. It was first described by the German neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1905 (Selkoe, 2016). The average life expectancy of an Alzheimers patient is between five and ten years, but some patients today have live for up to 15 years after the diagnosis due to improvements in care and medical treatments. The cause of Alzheimer 's has not yet been discovered and it also not possible to confirm a person has Alzheimer 's until their autopsy following death (Park, 2016).
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder and the leading cause of dementia in people above the age of 65. In 1901, Alois Alzheimer identified the first case of this disease and discovered the pathological condition of dementia that bears his name. AD is a progressive disease, the most common early symptom is short-term memory loss. As the disorder advances, individuals have problems with language, motivation, mood and long-term memory. In the final stages, the patient is complete loss of daily living activities.
The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not yet fully comprehended which in my opinion makes it more intimidating. Alzheimer’s is characterized by various pathological markers in the brain such as large numbers of amyloid plagues surrounded by neurons containing neurofibrillary tangles which causes vascular damage from extensive plague deposition, and neuronal cell loss because it is not known if the amyloid plagues or the
There are many medications on the market right now to try and help the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, many of these treat the symptoms but not the cause. One specific medication, cholinesterase inhibitors is not fully understood but it is believed to help decrease the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter (About Alzheimer 's Disease: Treatment, n.d.). Cholinesterase is both beneficial in it’s aid in treatment and not— this medicine over time causes neurons not to produce as much acetylcholine (About Alzheimer 's Disease: Treatment, n.d.). This drug works on mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease because there is often a problem with synaptic activity due to TAU blockage and cell to cell connections in the genetic neuronal manifestation in Alzheimers (About Alzheimer 's Disease: Treatment, n.d.; Alzheimer 's Disease Medications Fact Sheet, 2015).
According to Alzheimer’s Association (2009), a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is made through a process of elimination, after ruling out other causes of dementia by a series of physical and psychological examinations, because some dementia-like symptoms can be caused by treatable conditions, such as depression, drug interaction, thyroid problems, excess use of alcohol, or certain vitamin deficiencies.