Alzheimer 's Disease : Symptoms And Treatment Loss, Paranoia, And Psychological Changes

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In 1906, Dr. Alois Alzheimer’s patient suffered from severe memory loss, paranoia, and psychological changes. The German doctor linked these psychological symptoms to physical microscopic changes in the brain. In 2015, Alzheimer’s disease affects nearly 5 million people of all ages in the United States. The chronic disease is closely associated with the decline of the brain’s cognitive function to remember, and could become severe enough to cripple the patient from completing everyday tasks. This disease that plagues millions of people is the sixth leading cause of death for adults, yet there is no cure. There are many questions centered on understanding the direct cause of Alzheimer’s disease, but investigating the biology of this disease will result in the long awaited cure. Age and memory are the two main factors in understanding Alzheimer’s disease. This disease is normally connected with the natural process of aging; meaning that elderly people are more susceptible to develop Alzheimer’s. In fact, one out of 25 Americans over the retirement age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease (Harmon, 1999, p. 23). This disease affects mainly people in their fifties and sixties; however, it can in some cases develop in younger adults. The second factor is memory loss, which is the major symptom of the disease. These victims lose the ability to recall cherished memories; as a result relatives become complete strangers. In severe cases, patients cannot recognize their own reflection (p. 24). The source of Alzheimer’s disease and the effects of memory loss are hidden in the brain tissues of its victims. After studying the brain of Alzheimer patients, scientists have discovered that damage to the brain begins 5 to 10 years before symptoms of ... ... middle of paper ... ...samples to rule out other causes of dementia, but recently spinal fluid has been examined to measure the amount of amyloid beta and tau proteins. Brian scanning has allowed researchers to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to measure shrinkage of brain tissue. These advancements in medical technology have greatly improved the race to cure Alzheimer’s disease. 115 years have passed since the first discovery of abnormal changes in brain tissues that have now been labeled as Alzheimer’s disease. Though there is still no cure for the disease; the advancements in detecting the disease could help patients improve their condition. Targeting the specific causes such as the amyloid beta and tau proteins are a huge step in the right direction to finding a cure. With many questions still left unanswered, it is a race against time to defeat this pain of forgetting.

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