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Alzheimer’s Disease by Rachel Horas

By at January 28, 2012 | 8:41 am | Print

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. It is a progressive disease caused by the build-up of plaques and tangles in the brain, which causes brain cells to die. Additionally, Alzheimer’s patients are deficient in essential brain chemicals used in the transmission of information, causing neurotransmitters from malfunctioning. Though short term memory loss is the first indicator of the onset of the disease, Alzheimer’s has four distinct progressive stages: 1) Pre-dementia, which no signs or symptoms are shown but plaque and tangles form inside the brain; 2) Mild Alzheimer’s stage, with the patient exhibiting short term memory loss: 3) Moderate Alzheimer’s stage, when the patient has difficulty performing basic tasks such as reading and writing, and 4) Severe Alzheimer’s stage, when the patient can no longer perform basic living activities such as eating, dressing, or bathing, and the brain starts failing to control essential organs leading to death.


Although there is no known cure, there is still treatment for Alzheimer’s. There are drugs and exercises a patient can take or do to delay progression of the disease. Some of these exercises include word puzzles to help create better memory skills, and to change certain things in the home of the patient to keep then better organized and to help make performing daily tasks easier. Also, having a good support group such as family and friends and a reliable caregiver can really make a difference. There are also medications that help slow down the progression; however, they may not work on everyone. Some people find little to no change at all from them.
Hopefully they will be able to continue to research a cure for this unfortunate disease. The number of people afflicted with Alzheimer’s continues to grow rapidly with the aging of the baby-boomer generation.

References
“Alzheimer’s Disease.” PubMed Heath. A.D.A.M., Disclaimer, Sept 26 2011. Web. 22 Jan 2012. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001767/>.
“What is Alzheimer’s?.” alz.org. Alzheimer’s Association, Jan 2012. Web. 22 Jan 2012. <http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp>.
“What is Alzheimer’s Disease? What Causes it?.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International Ltd , July 31 2009. Web. 22 Jan 2012. <=http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/159442.php>.

 

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