Alzheimers & Genetics Article Review

Topics: Alzheimer's disease, Risk, Epidemiology Pages: 5 (1360 words) Published: May 5, 2010
Article Review
Krystal Glenn
PSY20500
4/28/2010
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Glenn 1
Alzheimer’s Disease:
Living a healthy life may not keep the disease out of your future As a person ages, it’s natural to become more inclined to forget things; from misplacing car keys to forgetting the name of an old friend. But the effects to ones memory caused by Alzheimer's disease (aka: AD) are not at all considered normal. I think Belsky described AD best in saying “Alzheimer’s Disease directly attacks the core structure of human consciousness, our neurons. With this illness the neurons literally decay or wither away.” (“Experiencing the Lifespan”, Janet Belsky, 2007) According to the Alzheimer’s Associations informational website, alz.org, about 5 million people in the US are affected by the disease (What is Alzheimer’s, alz.org,  April 1,  2010) . If the disease is not treated in good time, loved ones may experience a total over all change in the affected person’s demeanor.  A normally calm, sweet person may become easily agitated and aggressive. Although there are no known cures at this time, the article I reviewed, Diagnosis and treatment of dementia: 1. Risk assessment and primary prevention of Alzheimer disease (Patterson C, Feightner JW, Garcia A, Hsiung GY, MacKnight C, Sadovnick AD (February 2008). "Diagnosis and treatment of dementia: 1. Risk assessment and primary prevention of Alzheimer disease". CMAJ)  sheds light on the fact that, although there are many scientists that believe there are preventive measures that can be taken, ultimately, genetics plays the largest role in the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s. I chose the article for the reason that it was not only written by various scholars from the Division of Geriatric Medicine and a plethora of high standing medical universities, but Glenn 2

also because it had such a large amount of very useful information. In accordance with our text (“Experiencing the Lifespan”, Janet Belsky, 2007), a certain genetic marker plays a role in the discovery of AD. The research enclosed within the article I found also states that “For the primary prevention of Alzheimer's disease, there is good evidence for controlling vascular risk factors, especially hypertension (grade A), and weak or insufficient evidence for manipulation of lifestyle factors and prescribing of medications.” ( Patterson C, Feightner JW, Garcia A, Hsiung GY, MacKnight C, Sadovnick AD (February 2008). "Diagnosis and treatment of dementia: 1. Risk assessment and primary prevention of Alzheimer disease". CMAJ). Thus leaning towards the fact that genetics plays a bigger role, and taking action to prevent the disease with lifestyle changes and medications may help but won’t demolish your chances. The main point of the author’s piece discusses a hypothetical patient’s story. It  was just what the doctor ordered when it comes to describing ways to prevent or decrease chances of getting AD. It paints a picture of a Mr. A, a 45 year old, non-smoker/drinker, male with hypertension who expresses his concerns in regard to developing Alzheimer’s Disease during a check-up. Since his mother is currently suffering from it and he sees the toll that it is in turn taking on his family, he wants to know what his “chances are of escaping this terrible disease.” “…the results of the Systolic Hypertension in Europe (SYST-EUR) study revealed a reduced risk of dementia among participants receiving antihypertensive treatment. ( Patterson C, Feightner JW, Garcia A, Hsiung GY, MacKnight C, Sadovnick AD (February 2008). "Diagnosis and treatment of dementia: 1. Risk assessment and primary prevention of Alzheimer disease". CMAJ) According to the SYST-EUR study mentioned above, Mr. A Glenn 3

may not be at higher risk because of his high blood pressure, as one might think. Strangely enough, it was also found that tobacco smoking “actually reduces the risk of dementia” (Almeida OP, Hulse GK, Lawrence D, et al....

References: * ( Patterson C, Feightner JW, Garcia A, Hsiung GY, MacKnight C, Sadovnick AD (February 2008). "Diagnosis and treatment of dementia: 1. Risk assessment and primary prevention of Alzheimer disease". CMAJ).
 
* (What is Alzheimer’s, alz.org, updated April 1,  2010)
 
* (“Experiencing the Lifespan”, Janet Belsky, 2007)
 
* ” (Almeida OP, Hulse GK, Lawrence D, et al. Smoking as a risk factor for Alzheimer 's disease: contrasting evidence from a systematic review of case–control and cohort studies. Addiction 2002;97:15-28. [PubMed)
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