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Alzheimers Disease Essays

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Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a complex illness that affects the brain tissue directly and undergoes gradual memory and behavioral changes which makes it difficult to diagnose. It is known to be the most common form of dementia and is irreversible. Over four million older Americans have Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to triple in the next twenty years as more people live into their eighties and nineties. (Johnson, 1989). There is still no cure for Alzheimer’s but throughout the past few years a lot of progress has been made.
Doctors need a sure way to diagnose the disease before treatment or studies can be done. The diagnosis is an autopsy of brain tissue examined under a microscope. In addition, medical history,
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Due to the inability of the brain to replace nerve cells, some brain function is lost. The key question in Alzheimer’s disease is, what causes the neuron degeneration (Johnson, 1989)? The focus for finding the cause is on abnormal structures found in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, the abnormal structures the brain undergoes still has researchers uncertain as to how they are involved in Alzheimer’s and exactly how the disease occurs.
Therefore, not knowing the exact causes of the disease, the signs and symptoms will help with the diagnosis. The first sign may be mild forgetfulness that progresses to affect language, reasoning, understanding, reading and
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writing. There has been known cases of people with Alzheimer’s who become anxious, aggressive and wander away from home (Wallace, 1998). These individuals have a severe case of the disease and must be taken care of on a daily basis. Alzheimer’s progresses and affects individuals differently. Many signs are shown in the individual with the disease, which allows you to classify which stage the individual is in. Some of the signs to look for are, difficulty learning and retaining new information, reasoning and abstract thought, judgment and planning, poor language skills, inhibition and impulse control and short term memory loss (Wallace, 1998). If any or all of these signs occur, the individual most likely has Alzheimer’s.
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