Alzheimer's Disease Essay

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     Alzheimer’s disease is relentlessly destroying the brains and lives of our nation’s older adults, robbing them of memory, the ability to reason, and affecting their emotions and behavior. Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the brain. The longer we live the greater the risk: one out of every two Americans aged 85 and older and one out of every 10 aged 65 and older are afflicted with the disease. It affects two groups of people: those with the disease and the loved ones who care for them. By the year 2050, an estimated 14 million Americans will be in its grip.
     Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive disease of the brain, which is characterized by a gradual loss of
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     The first signs of Alzheimer’s disease include difficulty in remembering recent events and performing familiar everyday tasks. As the disease progresses, the affected person may experience confusion, personality and behavior changes, impaired judgment, and difficulty finding words, finishing thoughts, or following directions. In the early and middle stages of AD, people with the illness may be painfully aware of their intellectual failings and what is yet to come. These changes occur at widely varying speeds in different people, and not all changes occur in everyone, but the outcome is always the same. Eventually, people with Alzheimer’s disease completely lose the ability to care for themselves and must be confined to bed with constant care. In the latest stages of disease the brain can no longer regulate body functions, and victims die of malnutrition, dehydration, infection, heart failure, or other complications. Alzheimer’s disease progresses slowly, taking between three to eighteen years to advance from the earliest symptoms to death; the average duration of the disease is eight years. Unfortunately, science has not yet found a cure.
     Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who discovered Alzheimer’s disease, was a gifted German scientist who was born in the mid-nineteenth century. Though he will be forever linked to the disease that bears

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