Symptoms And Diagnosis Of Alzheimer 's Disease

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In medicine, an early diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death. With today’s advancements in technology, early diagnosis is becoming a real possibility for many diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. Worldwide it is estimated that 24 million people have dementia, the majority of these people are thought to have Alzheimer’s disease. (Mayo Clinic, 2014) According to Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) (2015) Alzheimer’s disease is among the top ten leading causes of death in the United States. Affecting 5.1 million Americans. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging, but the risk of developing this disease increases with age. One of the best tools for diagnosing Alzheimer’s is magnetic resonance imaging…show more content…
¬ In Alzheimer’s disease, the brain cells actually degenerate and die, causing a steady decline in memory and mental function. When a person has Alzheimer’s disease the cortex will shrivel up, this causes problems with thinking, planning, and remembering. The hippocampus of the brain will also shrink, which is the part of the brain that helps form new memories; an Alzheimer’s patient’s brain will also have enlarged ventricles. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease show two types of abnormal lesions that clog their brain: Beta-amyloid plaques—sticky clumps of protein fragments and cellular material that form outside and around neurons; and neurofibrillary tangles—insoluble twisted fibers composed largely of the protein tau that build up inside nerve cells. However scientists are unclear whether these lesions actually cause the disease or if they are just a byproduct of the disease. (Mayo Clinic, 2014) Some early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease include memory loss that interrupts daily life, confusion with time or place, trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships, new problems with speaking or writing, withdrawal from work or social activities, and changes in mood and personality. Alzheimer’s disease dates back to 1906; a German physician named Dr. Alois Alzheimer, presented a case about a 51 year old woman who had suffered
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