Alzheimer's Disease is a condition that affects 50% of the population over the age of eighty five, which equals four million Americans each year. It is becoming an important and high-profile issue in today's society for everyone. There are rapid advancements being made in the fight against this disease now more than ever, and the purpose of this essay is to educate the public on the background as well as the new discoveries. There are many new drugs that are being tested and studied every day which slow down, and may even halt the progress of the disease.
Alzheimer 's disease (AD) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain from which there is no recovery. There are three brain abnormalities that are the hallmarks of the Alzheimer’s disease is initially caused by plaques buildup in the brain’s neurons as illustrated in figure 1. The support structure that allows the flow of the nutrients through the neurons gets damaged and ultimately there is loss of connection among the neurons and they die off (National Institute of Health, 2015). This causes the brain tissue to shrinks, which is called atrophies. All this ultimately lead the victim of this disease to face difficulties in governing emotions, recognize errors and patterns, coordinate movement, and remember. Ultimately, a person with AD loses all memory and mental functioning.
Alzheimer’s is a systemic disease, meaning that it affects more than one part of the body. There are three major systems that are affected by Alzheimer’s. The first involves the Central Nervous System. The CNS includes the brain and spinal cord, allowing the nervous system to make the spinal cord and brain function. The Central Nervous System is affected because specific brain proteins begin to malfunction and brain cells die. The loss of brain cells is the reason for memory loss and
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.
Alzheimer's and dementia is one of the many diseases that affects the nervous system, particularly the brain. Acute memory loss is known as dementia. Thus, Alzheimer's is a severe form of dementia. The diagnosis is the brain lacking brain cells and connections due to degradation. Symptoms of Alzheimer's includes memory loss which can range from minor to severe as well as confusion which directly corresponds to memory loss. Groups of nerves work together to focus on specific jobs such as communication and memory. The brain cells work together and “receive supplies, generate energy, construct equipment and get rid of waste.” Alzheimer's is believed to prevent parts of the cell to not function properly. Scientists are not thoroughly sure where the cells malfunction begins. As the cell continues to divide and spread, the infected cells begin to die off leading to damaged brain connections. Scientists believe that plaques and tangles are the cause of the disease. Plaques are “deposits of a protein fragment called beta-amyloid that build up in the spaces between nerve cells.” Tangles are “twisted fibers of another protein called tau that build up inside cells.” Age results in developed plaques and tangles though, Alzheimer patients have an abnormal amount of these
This TIME magazine article by Alice Park, directly relates to a lot of what we discussed in chapter 2 of our textbook. In that chapter, we identified the parts of a neuron and their functions. We also learned about how the neurons communicate with each other through neurotransmission. Alzheimer’s disease specifically targets neurons in the brain. It interrupts that communication and causes the destruction of neurons, which leads
In people with Alzheimer’s, the neurons become disabled. For starters, Alzheimer’s interferes with the neurons ability to produce energy they need to do their work, a process known as metabolism. Neurons derive energy from the oxygen and glucose which is available through the bloodstream. Without this energy, neurons can no longer communicate with each other and carry impulses to other neurons. They also lose the ability to repair themselves, which ultimately causes them to die. Exactly what interferes with the functioning of the neurons is unclear, and the rate at which the disease progresses also varies from one person to another. Neuofibrillary tangles which is a tau protein that gives neurons their structure by binding to microtubules in a cell and
Alzheimer’s is a disease where neurotransmitters, acetylcholine, or the brain’s chemicals break connections with other nerve cells causing the cells to die off, the effects of this are irreversible. The loss of these cells result in loss of thinking and language skills, unpredictable behavioral changes and eventually the inability to carry out the simplest tasks. Although there is no known cause for Alzheimer’s, researchers have found a genetic link. Alzheimer’s first symptoms usually appear when a person is between forty and fifty years of age. Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that initiates in the brain, drastically decreasing the quality of life as well as life expectancy in millions of people around the world.
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
Alzheimer’s is a disease which causes the brain to lose its tissue over time. Doctors thought that was a normal thing that happened as people get older. They didn’t think that it could be harmful, or in this case fatal. After the brain loses its tissue, it starts to destroy brain cells in the part of the brain that involves recent memories. The nerve cells slowly get attacked, and it causes the patient to slowly lose their memory, ability to control emotions, and their judgment. Some symptoms of Alzheimer’s are memory loss, challenges in planning things or solving problems, difficulty completing familiar tasks at home or
Scientists are uncertain about the role of plaques and tangles in Alzheimer's disease however, most believe they play a critical role in blocking communication among nerve cells and disrupt the processes that these cells need to survive. It's the destruction and death of nerve cells that causes memory failure, personality changes, problems carrying out daily activities and other symptoms of Alzheimer's
Alzheimer’s causes nerve cell death and tissue loss throughout the brain. This causes the brain to shrink dramatically and affects almost all of its functions (Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia). There is a loss of connections among brain cells responsible for memory, learning, and communication. The main portion of the brain called the cerebral cortex shrivels up. This part of the brain is involved with thinking, planning, and remembering which makes sense since patients with the disease show symptoms involved with these actions. The hippocampus is another are of the cortex that works
These physical changes begin to take effect long before the first symptoms appear, which suggests that it could be possible for screenings in the future to be able to detect and begin treatment for Alzheimer’s before it ever manifests symptoms. The two primary happenings that cause damage in the brain are the buildup of plaque and complications with nerve fibers called tangles. While most people develop a small amount of these over time, people with Alzheimer’s tend to develop much more. It is believed that the buildup of plaque and tangles interferes with the neurons’ ability to communicate with one another, and ultimately results in the death of the cells. The plaques, being a buildup of the protein beta-amyloid, gathers in the spaces between neurons while the tangles are a result of a twisting of an internal protein fiber called “tau”. In the end, these processes are the cause of the extreme memory loss and ultimately
Alzheimer’s causes degeneration of brain tissue and nerve cells. With less nerve cells present, it becomes harder for the brain to communicate with the body and function properly.
Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is a significant, persistent, and progressive memory loss that is associated with cognitive impairment and alterations in personality. Currently, there is no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, despite the significant amount of effort by researchers. The main challenge in developing