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An Overview of Alzheimer’s Disease by Eric Raines

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Alzheimer’s disease is a very common disease within the elderly population.  This disease does not have a cure; it will only get worse as time goes on.  It is a disease that can be very difficult for the patient and everyone involved with that person.  Alzheimer’s wipes out a person’s memory, as well as other parts of functions from the brain.  The disease can become so bad that the patient will not be able to recognize their own significant other.  That is why this is so hard on the family involved, someone they have known for years will all of a sudden not recognize them.

Alzheimer’s will not start out with drastic changes in the patient’s memory.  As time goes on the disease gets worse.  The patient or family of the patient may not even notice if they have Alzheimer’s because they will only be forgetful of common things like a person’s name or day of the week.  As the disease gets worse many things become wrong with the patient.  There are rare cases with a person in their thirties who have developed the disease.   The disease is most common in adults over sixty years old.

There is a lot of work to be done to figure more out about Alzheimer’s disease.  It is not clear yet how a person gets this disease.  Many health professionals believe that the way someone takes care of themselves throughout life can cause the disease.  The experts also say that genetics has a role in how someone gets it.   A good way to prevent the disease is just to simply keep your mind sharp.  Simple activities such as engaging in conversation or doing crossword puzzles can affect brain function in a positive way.  Regular exercise and a healthy diet will not only be good for a person’s brain but the rest of their body will benefit from it too.

There are three stages of Alzheimer’s disease mild, moderate, and severe.  In the mild stage of Alzheimer’s the patient will become forgetful, become angry, and forget to take care of their personal hygiene.  In the moderate stage, they will not be able to recognize their family and friends.  This person will also start to tell stories that will not have any truth to them.  Their trust in other people will begin to diminish.  These Alzheimer’s patients will also start to lose control of their bowels and urination.  In the severe stage, this person will need full-time care from someone else.  They will no longer be able to communicate verbally.  They will need to be fed, bathed, and checked for bed sores.  They will not be able to move by themselves and may spend the rest of their lives in bed.

The two main problems in the brain during Alzheimer’s are plaque and tangles.  Plaque is what kills brain cells and stops all communication with other cells.  The tangles will disrupt getting nutrients to the brain.  This is why the brain starts to lose a lot of its functions when plaque and tangles are present inside the brain. Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease and over five million people in this country have it.  Hopefully one day scientists will be able to learn more about it and spread their knowledge to the public.





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