Alzheimer’s Disease. Essay

Topics: Alzheimer's disease, Medicine, Neuron Pages: 3 (1036 words) Published: April 24, 2013
Alzheimer’s Disease
“Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country and the only cause of death among the top ten in the united states that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease and among this five million, one in eight are older adults”. (Alzheimer’s)

Alzheimer's is essentially deterioration of the brain. “It is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. The most important risk factors are age, family history and heredity”. (Alzheimer’s) It is caused by tangles and plaque. Tangles are twisted fibers that collapse the structure of the neuron’s transport system in the brain. Plaques are protein fragments that clump and interfere with nerve cell function of the brain.

The main symptom of Alzheimer’s that can cause someone to seek help and eventually become diagnosed with the disease is memory loss. Diagnosis is aimed at ruling out all other causes of the memory loss or other signs and symptoms of the disease. To rule out other causes a physician has do a thorough check of the family history to see if Alzheimer’s is significant. Mental status testing, a physical and neurological exam, blood tests, and certain tests such as a CT scan, MRI, EEG and PET are also done. True diagnosis of a patient can only be done at time of death when a dissection of the brain can be done.

Once all other possible causes are ruled out and the person is diagnosed, they will eventually go through all five levels of the disease. Level five through one. Each stage involves different behaviors, physical and mental changes, and different medications to help with the problems. Level five is early loss which they call running on routine or the repeating stories level. There is relatively mild memory lapses, and experiences of some word problems such as trying to find the right word. Reasoning skills become loss and frustration is exhibited by changes in plans or...
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