Alzheimer's Disease

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Alzheimer's disease


Alzheimer's disease is an incurable degenerative disease of the central nervous system characterized by progressive loss of mental abilities (memory, speech, logical thinking). The risk of developing Alzheimer's disease increases after age 65. Despite the fact, that relatively few people suffer from this disease is a major cause of dementia in the elderly. Such a state is a big blow and a heavy psychological burden on the patient's family. Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly (Kukull, 1059. Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning, i.e., thinking, remembering and reasoning, to a degree that interferes with daily life and activities of a person.

The calculated figures vary, but experts suggest that the number of people suffering from this disease can be as high as 5.1 million Americans. This early form of the disease affects people between 30 and 50 years and is genetically inherited and represents about 10% of cases of Alzheimer's disease or dementia. 72% of those residing in nursing homes suffer from Alzheimer's disease or a related disease. Approximately 600,000 people in America suffer from this disease and 850 000 of a related disease. 225,000 new cases are diagnosed each year (Paradise, 25).

The three phases of Alzheimer's disease

Phase (average duration observed)

Signs observed

Initial (two to four years)

A few omissions

difficulty processing new information

problems with concentration and orientation


Intermediate (two to ten years)

significant deterioration of functions

memory loss more pronounced

difficulty recognizing people

mood changes




Advanced (undetermined)

faculties highly altered

inability to recognize people

frequent sleep

inability to talk, dress or wash


non-verbal methods to communicate


Causes of Alzheimer's disease

The exact causes are unknown, but is usually associated with Alzheimer's disease destroying a large number of nerve cells, lack of materials needed for the transmission of nerve impulses, heredity (genetic predisposition), toxic metals poisoning, head trauma, brain tumor, hypothyroidism (Murray, 662). From the biochemical point of view, Alzheimer's disease is associated with decreased brain levels of acetylcholine (a chemical that exists in the brain and works by sending signals from one neuron to another, this neurotransmitter is essential for learning and memorize).

Patients with more education have lower risk of dementia. Under this theme, some studies have associated the ability to express complex written language in early adulthood, with a lower risk of dementia. Exposure to pesticides, fertilizers and solvents has been associated with the development of Alzheimer's disease, although it is unclear what the mechanism by which these products can favor box. It is possible that factors such as hypertension, smoking, hypercholesterolemia or diabetes mellitus act to increase vascular lesions in the brain that allows degenerative lesions linked to the clinical expression of Alzheimer's disease in many cases.

Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

Over time, the patient's brain cells shrink or disappear and are replaced by plates, that is to say, dense patches of irregular shapes. Gradually, these plates affect different areas of the brain, affecting memory, imagination, language, reasoning and judgment of the person affected. AD manifests ...
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