February 7, 2011
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. “Its onset is generally insidious, with gradual deterioration of cognitive function, eventually resulting death.” (Falvo, D. 2009, pg. 226). Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia among people age 65 and older. “Nearly 70 percentages of all dementias are Alzheimer’s, and over 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s.”(www.alz.org). This disease is not just a disease that happens to older people, but there is a small percentage that can also affect those in their 30s. One of the greatest risk factors that increase the cause of Alzheimer’s is family history, age, and genetics. Alzheimer’s develops when genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors work together to cause the disease process to start. “Research shows that Latinos and African Americans in the United States have higher rates of vascular disease; they also may be at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s”. (www.alz.org). If someone in your family has Alzheimer’s like a brother, sister, or parent is more likely to increase their chances of developing the disease. There are two stages to having the disease which are early onset and late onset. The early onset stage affects a small percentage of people under the age of 65. It can affect people as young as age 35. The early onset stage are usually inherited from a parent or sibling, this means the person has a greater chance of developing the disease if it’s a family history. In the early stage the person tends to deal with forgetfulness, mood swings, difficulty performing daily tasks, and concentration. The late onset stage usually is developed after the age 60. In the late stage there appears to be no genetic or family history involved. The late stage of the disease is a long progress that could take several years. In the late...
References: Falvo, D. (2009). Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Chronic Illness and Disability. Fourth Edition. Jones and Bartlett, Boston, MA.
Fuerst, F. (2007). Alzheimer’s Care with Dignity. First Edition. Warner- Tamerlane Publishing
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