Alzheimer's disease is an irreversible, neurological condition that impairs the brain's functioning. The exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is not known. Early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are usually memory loss. There are other symptoms that include having problems with learning, paying attention, judgment and orientation. (Aronson 15) In general, people who have major personality and behavior changes might have Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's disease usually affects older people. There are many older people with memory problems that do not have Alzheimer's. It is natural to lose some memory when ageing. Loss of memory can result from many other disorders, including the side effects of drugs metabolic abnormalities, vitamin or hormonal deficiencies, and small strokes. People with anxiety or depression can also have symptoms that simulate a memory disorder.(Wilkinson 6) No one wants to admit that they are losing their memory. Some people with memory problems will say that they do not remember things because "they're not important." This may be an excuse. Trying to figure out the differences between normal age related memory changes and early
Alzheimer's disease can be very difficult. Not one single test will prove whether a person has Alzheimer's disease or a related mind loss disorder
Alzheimer's disease is named after a German doctor "Alois Alzheimer". He discovered things called "plaques and tangles" in the brain of his patients who suffered memory loss. The brain looked like tangled shoe laces or hair and the plaque resemble plaque on one's teeth. All of this interferes with brain functions. In the 1900 Dr. Alois began to seriously study the brain. He discovered that this disease is "progressive and irreversible". The disease was characterized by deteriorating brain cells and will commonly lead to dementia. (Wilkinson 7, 8)
Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is not easy because this disease has the same symptoms of another memory loss and related condition called dementia. Alzheimer's disease is the most frequent cause of a dementia type illness. Dementia means a loss or impairment of a person's ability to use his mind. The main feature of dementia is the loss of the ability intellectually to perform with social or occupational functions. (Gruetzner 10) Such as a person with Alzheimer's will not be able to function in his job because of impairments in memory and reasoning. There are tests that are done on a patient to diagnosis Alzheimer's disease. This is done on the basis of getting a history of sicknesses that are compatible with this disorder, getting a mental status exam, physical exam, laboratory test that can rule out disorders that can be similar
to Alzheimer's disease, receiving a psychiatric evaluation and last a psychological test. (Aronson 18)
There are three stages of Alzheimer's disease. There is no point at which one stage of Alzheimer's moves to another stage. The stages seem to blend together, but it becomes more sever and more noticeable as time goes on. With stage one the onset of Alzheimer's disease is so gradual. It can go on unnoticed for a long period of time. The person can tell of stories of memories from long ago but they may not be able to tell you what happened the previous day. They may become absent minded, miss appointments or even forgetting to return phone calls from friends and family. They tend not to want to learn new things and going to different places such as dine out or go on vacation. Of course much of this behavior is not unusual for most people at some time or another in their lives. That is why slight changes in one's behavior, in the beginning of Alzheimer's disease, go unnoticed. In stage two people with the early stages of Alzheimer's become unpredictable. They are usually indifferent to the feelings of others. Keeping clean is not a priority, and the person may object or get...
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