Alzheimer's: A Look into the Disease

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AD: A Look into the Disease

Background problem

Despite being known for over one hundred years the cause of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is still not completely understood. This terminal disease affects about 800,000 people in the UK and is expected to greatly increase in number of cases in the coming years. AD has proven to be an elusive disease to understand; yet it is more important than ever to continue researching AD in attempt to find a cure for the many people and family members that this disease affects.

Purpose

Since 1907, when Alois Alzheimer characterized AD, many hypotheses and theories have been developed. However, there has been little progress toward understanding the pathophysiology that could lead to a cure. Treatment of AD by Yaso Shan attempts to explain why AD has been so challenging to scientists, current theories and etiology, and why finding a cure has been so difficult. This article has been directed to advance the knowledge of health care professionals in order for them to provide better care to their patients and family members. The reason I chose to research AD is its prevalence in patients and challenging nature of treatment. My goal of researching this article is to gain a better understand of the disease to be able to provide a higher level of care.

Pathophysiology of the disease process

AD is characterized by the loss of neurons in the hippocampus and cerebrocortical areas of the brain. The physical findings of a patient with AD include amyloid plaques that accumulate on the outside of neurons and neurofibrillary tangles found on the inside of neurons. The specific amyloid protein found in AD is amyloid-beta peptide.

Clinical manifestations of AD are directly ...

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... example: AD is the most common form of dementia and it will affect your memory, thought, language, attention, perception, consciousness, and personality. The disease normally progresses gradually until basic vital functions are affected, such as breathing. The severity of the disease is a difficult but an important issue to discuss. The patient and family must know that the disease is not curable. Treatment options would be another topic to be discussed. There are pharmacological therapy options that may help slow down the disease process and improve symptoms. The two main options used today are cholinesterase inhibitors and NMDA receptor antagonists. Other patient and family teaching should include risk factors that increase and decrease the risk.

References

Shan, Y. (2013). Treatment of AD. Primary Health Care, 23(6), 32-38.

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