Running head: Alzheimer’s Disease
Waubonsee Community College
Mr. Scott Hollenback
October 27, 2011
As Kevin Arnold quotes, “Memory is a way of holding on to things you love, the things you are, and the things you never want to lose.” Memories are the things we uphold. Whether it’s bad or good, those memories are engraved in us and can’t be stolen from us. But what if as time goes by, those memories are losing? Worst, you’re even losing your language skills, ability to recognize familiar things and you feel sense of depression. This means, as a person grows old he/she experiences deterioration in one’s self.
Now, we are currently living in the age of technology. Our advancements in the past few decades overshadow everything learned in the last 2000 years. This increase has bought with it a large increase in disease afflicting the elderly community. AD once thought to be a natural part of aging, is a severely debilitating form of mental dementia. Although some other types of dementia are curable or effectively treatable, there is currently no cure for Alzheimer. A general overview of AD including the clinical description, diagnosis, and progression of symptoms, helps one to further understand the treatment and care of patients.
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases. The primary risk factors of Alzheimer’s are age, family history, and genetics. However, there are other risk factors that you can influence. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest know risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early-onset Alzheimer’s (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their 40’s and 50’s. This relatively rare condition is seen more often in patients whose parents or grandparents developed Alzheimer’s disease at a young age, and is generally associated with three specific gene mutations (the APP gene found on chromosome 21, the PSI gene on chromosome 12, and the PS2 gene on chromosome 1). (alz.org, web)
There are many signs and symptoms for Alzheimer’s. For many people, detecting the first signs of memory problems in themselves or a loved one brings an immediate fear of Alzheimer’s disease. However, most people over 65 experience some level of forgetfulness. It is normal for age-related brain shrinkage to produce changes in processing speed, attention, and short term memory, creating so-called “senior moments.” Forgetfulness is merely inconvenient, though, and generally involves unimportant information. Understanding the significance of these age-related changes begins with knowing the difference between what is normal and what is an early symptom of Alzheimer’s. Routinely place important items in odd places, such as keys in the fridge, wallet in the dishwasher, is an early sign of Alzheimer’s. As well as, forgetting names of family members and common objects, or substitute words with inappropriate ones, frequently forgetting entire conversations, dress regardless of the weather; wear several skirts on a warm day, or shorts in a snow storm, can’t follow recipes direction’s, can no longer manage checkbook, balance figures, solve problems, or think abstractly, withdraw from usual interests and activities, sit in front of the TV for hours, sleep far more than usual, get lost in familiar places, don’t remember how you got there or how to get home, and experience rapid mood swings, from tears to rage, for no discernible reason. Significant cognitive and memory loss are not...
Cited: (The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc, 2008) “Namenda”
(Alzheimer 's Association National Offi) “What is Alzheimers”
(Richard A Hansen, 2006) “HelpGuide Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia”
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