“Alzheimer's ... it is a barren disease, as empty and lifeless
as a desert. It is a thief of hearts and souls and memories” Nicholas Sparks
Alzheimer’s disease causes brain changes that gradually get worse. It is the most common cause of dementia, a group brain of disorders that initiate progressive loss of intellectual and social skills. The disease comes on gradually, as two abnormal protein fragments called Plaques and Tangles accumulate in the brain and kill brain cells. All of this usually starts in the hippocampus, the part of the brain where memories are first formed. Over many years the Plaques and Tangles slowly destroy the hippocampus and it becomes harder and harder to form new memories. Simple recollections from a few hours or days ago that most people take for granted are just not there. After that, more plaques and tangles spread into other areas of the brain, killing cells and compromising function wherever they go. This spreading around is what causes the different stages of Alzheimer’s, pre-dementia, early, moderate and advanced. From the hippocampus the disease spreads to the region of the brain where language is processed, when that happens it gets harder and harder to find the right word. After this moves to the front of the brain to a part where logical thought takes places. Very gradually, the person starts to lose their ability solve problems, grasp concepts and make plans. Next the Plaques and Tangles invade the part of the brain where emotion are regulated, when this happens the patients begin to lose control of their moods and feelings. After that, it moves to the place where the brain makes sense of the things it sees, moves or hears . At this stage Alzheimer’s can reach havoc on a persons senses, inducing hallucinations. Eventually the plaques and tangles erase the oldest and most precious memories, which are stored in the back in of the brain. Near the end the disease compromises a persons balance and coordination, odds are...
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