Alzheimer’s Disease

Topics: Alzheimer's disease, Brain, Human brain Pages: 6 (1933 words) Published: October 9, 2009

David Casey
“Alzheimer's disease (frequently called "dementia"), a degenerative process resulting in a large loss of brain cells with the resulting progressive loss of memory” (Anee Steed, 2000). I chose Alzheimer’s disease for my project with its over-whelming affect it has on people. The people whom I have known prior to them having Alzheimer’s the results were that they no longer were familiar with me. The main interest is that it is hard for me to comply with such a dramatic personality change which can over-take someone. Additional research on Alzheimer’s hopefully will give me more knowledge on how I can avoid it in the future and gain more of an understanding of what people are dealing with. “Age is the most important known risk factor for AD. The number of people with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65” (National Institute on Aging, 2007). Clearly age seems to be the number one risk factor involved and this leads me to believe that longevity in living a mentally and physically healthy life style should help reduce the risk. The most common form of AD is late-onset, but there is also another for of AD called early-onset which is likely to occur between the ages of 30-60. I was unaware that there was more than one form of AD and scientists believe that early-onset may be more of a hereditary cause. “Scientists are finding increasing evidence that some of the risk factors for heart disease and stroke, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and low levels of the vitamin folate, may also increase the risk of AD. Evidence for physical, mental, and social activities as protective factors against AD is also increasing” (National Institute on Aging, 2007). Physical, mental, and social activities seem like they can have a positive or negative affect on future health issues

depending on how you live your life. It is nice know that we as people can more so have some control over this outcome based on our life choices.
“AD begins slowly. At first, the only symptom may be mild forgetfulness, which can be confused with age-related memory change. Most people with mild forgetfulness do not have AD” (National Institute of Aging, 2007). This is rather scary because it seems as though Alzheimer’s will most likely sneak up on you. Something such as mild forgetfulness does not seem that it should hold any major concerns with it. It is unfortunate that something as devastating as AD can overwhelm you without significant notice. The events toward the middle stages of AD tend to be more serious and more noticeable. “Forgetfulness begins to interfere with daily activities. People in the middle stages of AD may forget how to do simple tasks like brushing their teeth or combing their hair. They can no longer think clearly. They can fail to recognize familiar people and places. They begin to have problems speaking, understanding, reading, or writing” (National Institute of Aging, 2007) It is amazing that a person who does daily routines for their whole life will suddenly just begin to forget and seem completely unaware that it matters. This is very sad, I would almost be afraid to live with someone I knew who had AD because they might continually forget who I am. Facts like this should be enough to influence us as people to whatever we can to improve our lifestyles. Sure certain events we can not avoid, but you would really regret not making simple adjustment as efforts aspects of a healthy lifestyle. “Solving everyday problems, such as knowing what to do if food on the stove is burning, becomes increasingly difficult, eventually impossible Alzheimer's is characterized by greater difficulty in doing things that require planning, 4

decision making and judgment” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2007) To me this says basically that almost every activity performed solo by someone with Alzheimer’s is hazardous. Such A disease can permit someone to have to be under supervision at all...

References: Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet, National Institute on Aging, 2007
Alzheimer’s Disease, Mayo Clinic Staff, 2007[pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic]
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