Treatments for Alzheimer's Disease Essay

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INTRODUCTION Throughout history there have been reports of decreased memory and mental deterioration that accompanied old age. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) was named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer who described the symptoms in a woman in Germany in the 1907 but it was not until the 1970’s that AD was considered to be a major disorder and AD continues to be a major health concern worldwide (Reger, 2002). The onset of symptoms is usually between 40 and 90 years of age, although onset before 65 years of age is considered to be the early onset form of the disease and onset at 40 is very rare (Reger, 2002). Characteristics of AD are extracellular deposits of senile plaques made of complexes of the protein amyloid β and neurofibrillary tangles…show more content…
Patients are at risk for wandering off and forgetting where they are and how to get back so in order for these patients to remain out of assisted living they need to be under close supervision during this time there is the greatest probability of increased family and caregiver stress. Eventual progression is to return to a more infantile state that may require them to have assistance when performing basic tasks such as eating so as to prevent aspiration of food and the potential for the life-threatening development of pneumonia. Diagnosis is based on performance in tests, such as the memory impairment screen (MIS) or the General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG), to determine cognitive function and based on recommended guidelines as published by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) (Grossberg et al., 2010). Due to the slowly progressive nature of AD it is possible that diagnosis is not made during the mild or even moderate stages of the disease, which could have effects of the effectiveness of currently available treatments; thus the current recommendation is routine annual screening for development of AD. As AD is a progressive disease with no currently known cure, all current treatments are aimed at slowing the progression of the disease; these treatments have been available since 1993 (Geldmacher et al., 2011). The desired
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