Alzheimer's Disease - the Silent Killer

Topics: Alzheimer's disease, Cognition, Psychology Pages: 3 (1089 words) Published: November 6, 2012
Alzheimer’s disease – The Silent Killer
“Who are you?” “Do I know you?” Alzheimer’s disease is a very traumatic and disheartening disease that can affect loved ones in our families and relationships. I will be discussing the causes and prevention of this disease even though scientific facts and research are still being tested for validity. Alzheimer’s disease was first diagnosed to be a medical condition back in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer. Dr. Alzheimer identified this mental illness after witnessing the mental decaying mind of a woman who experienced memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia that usually targets people over the age of 60. Dementia affects cognitive functioning such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning to such a degree it affects the person’s everyday life. Not only does it affect those areas, but it also affects behavior, mood, and emotions. When the brain is examined on a person who had Alzheimer’s disease it will show abnormal clumps, tangled bundles of fibers, and loss of connections between nerve cells. When there are more clumps and tangles in the brain or roadblocks as I would describe them, it is hard for the highways of the brain to communicate with each other and in turn causes these neurons to die. As these neurons die, the areas where they are located in the brain have shrunk drastically and the damage is usually pretty extensive. This leads to death undoubtedly since it affects critical areas of the brain. Alzheimer’s has three stages of progression - early, middle, and late – before reaching the final end of life stage. Identifying the shift from one stage to another can be quite tricky, but here is a breakdown of how scientists categorize the stages at the present time. Early stages of Alzheimer’s exhibits signs of memory loss and changes in cognitive abilities like getting lost, repeating questions, and small mood and...
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