Alzheimer 's Disease : The Most Prevalent Form Of Dementia Essay

Alzheimer 's Disease : The Most Prevalent Form Of Dementia Essay

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Alzheimer’s disease, also known as AD, is progressive in nature and it damages and eventually destroys brain cells (Alzheimer 's Association, 2015). The disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer because, in 1906, he discovered changes in the brain tissue of a woman who died of an unusual mental illness (National Institute on Aging, 2015). Shortly after she died, he studied the tissues of her brain and found several unusual clumps and tangled bundles of fibers. Today, these findings are still considered some of the key physical features of the brain matter in a patient with AD. It is the most prevalent form of dementia (Waite, 2015). AD leads to “memory loss and changes in thinking and other brain functions” as it progresses from mild to moderate to severe stages of the disease (Alzheimer 's Association, 2015). For most people, AD develops slowly and then gradually gets worse as the brain function declines and in some it advances at a much quicker rate causing death sooner. The disease progression continues until the brain cells eventually deteriorate completely and die causing the death of the patient. AD is considered to be a terminal illness so there is currently no cure.
Alzheimer’s disease is a major neurocognitive disorder characterized by the insidious onset and gradual progression of impairment in one or more cognitive domains (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Alzheimer’s disease is usually diagnosed if certain symptoms are exhibited. The symptoms include evidence of an AD gene from family history that can be determined through genetic testing and a definite indication of memory loss or reduction in retaining new information. Other symptoms include increasingly progressive, slow decline in thought or re...


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... analyses that can now be measured from a sample of cerebrospinal fluid” (Perrin, 2009). A proteome is the complement of proteins expressed in a cell, tissue, or organism by a genome (Merriam-Webster, 2015). Several AD biomarkers have been discovered using proteomics which can aid in early detection and intervention of the disease (Perrin, 2009). Also, the developments in radiographic technology of brain imaging and blood testing contribute to the understanding, identifying, monitoring, and forecasting the inevitable course of AD, even before the tangible symptoms appear within a patient. So with the collective efforts of researchers, doctors, patients, and caregivers, the outlook on the future of Alzheimer’s disease is hopeful and possibly one day this disease will no longer be the most predominant form of dementia in our ever-growing population of older adults.

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