Smart Brain Aging Alzheimer 's Prevention Program

3264 Words14 Pages
Smart Brain Aging Alzheimer’s Prevention Program
Rich Miller
Western Governor’s University

Background Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, degenerative brain disorder that slowly diminishes memory and thinking skills, eventually destroying the brain’s cognitive ability to carry out even the simplest of tasks. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. One in three seniors in America dies with Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia. Age is the single biggest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Most people who have Alzheimer’s are age 65 or older. By the time we turn 70, we have a 3-in-10 chance of developing Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. Our chances
…show more content…
The cost of caring for those patients is forecast to run more than $1.2 trillion a year, inflation not included. That dollar amount doesn’t begin to reflect the untold amount of human suffering of victims and their families. Simply put, if it isn’t already, Alzheimer’s disease will soon become the public health crisis of our times. Scientists don’t yet fully understand what causes Alzheimer’s disease. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that the disease develops slowly over a long period-of-time due to a complicated series of events that take place in the brain. Researchers say it seems likely the damage starts a decade or more before problems first begin to surface. Even though people are free of symptoms during the pre-clinical stages, toxic changes are taking place in the brain. MRI scans show that the brains of people who are in the first stages of Alzheimer’s disease are forming thick clumps of hard proteins called beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles. The damage quickly spreads to a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is responsible for forming and storing memories. As the disease progresses, the brain begins to shrink and wither as nerve cells die and nerve connections are lost. By the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease the damage is widespread and brain tissue has atrophied and shrunk significantly and victims are unable to perform even the simplest of tasks. (Alzheimer’s Disease;
Get Access