Alzheimer 's Disease : The Most Common Type Of Dementia Essay

Alzheimer 's Disease : The Most Common Type Of Dementia Essay

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Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, which is a general term for a condition in which people lose memory and other mental abilities to such a degree that the losses interfere with daily functioning. The main feature is the continuing death of brain cells that usually begins in the hippocampus, and then expands to include the cerebral cortex, which includes the frontal, parietal and temporal lobes. As the disease progresses, the brain shrinks as an increasing number of brain cells dies and synapses are destroyed. The process proceeds at different rates with the average course is eight to ten years, but it can last for twice that long (Mitchell, 2010). Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who discovered this form of dementia, observed abnormal tangles and plaques in the brain. Tangles or twisted fibers of protein (tau) help to keep nerve cells healthy and in shape. In Alzheimer’s, tau twists into clumps and causes nerve cells to die. Plaques, composed of the protein beta-amyloid accumulate on the outside of the nerve cells and damage mitochondria. The damaged mitochondria, which product cell energy begin to produce harmful free radicals, which in turn cause oxidative stress - a major part in Alzheimer’s disease (Mitchell, 2010, p. 26-27).
“Alzheimer’s progresses very slowly. Signs and symptoms may include: memory changes that disrupt daily life (forgetting dates, asking the same question repeatedly), challenges with planning and solving problems (following a recipe, difficulty with monthly bills), confusion with time and place, trouble judging distance and color, misplacing and losing items, and changes in mood and personality and withdrawal from social activities or hobbies” (Mitchell, 2010, p. 28-29).
In order to diagnose...


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...little, to no demand on the impaired cognitive function of the patient so that the individual can try to lead a normal life. This is especially important when violent behavior result with the onset of Delirium, so that this individual is in a safe environment where the risk of harm is low to themselves or others. It is recommended for someone to remain with the patient to help calm and keep anxiety to a minimum, lessening the confusion as much as possible. The patient affected with Delirium need reassurance to remain cooperative and content. They need to keep others around them informed about how they are feeling and what they are experiencing in order to be helped properly with a quick recovery. Possible side effects or complications can result from long term drug use, including loss of ability to interact with others, care for self, or progression into dementia.

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