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Alzheimer's Disease

comparative Essay
2312 words
2312 words
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What is Alzheimer’s? Alzheimer’s disease, commonly known as Alzheimer’s, is a degenerative brain disease most often found in people 65 years and older: more typically known as late-onset Alzheimer’s (en.wikipedia.org). Alzheimer’s is the third deadliest illness in the United States (www.bloomberg.com), and is considered to be the most severe memory disorder (www.alz.org). As of April 2014, a cure for Alzheimer’s has not been discovered, although doctors have created vaccines that slow down the progression of the illness (en.wikipedia.org). Alzheimer’s is divided into four main stages: pre-dementia, mild, moderate, and advanced (en.wikipedia.org). After the patient enters the mild stage of Alzheimer’s (usually after diagnosis), he or she begins to noticeably lose short-term memory (www.alz.org). As the disease progresses into the moderate and advanced stages, the patient begins to experience confusion, aggression, long-term memory loss, depression, and mood swings (www.alz.org). The average life expectancy of a patient after entering the mild stage of Alzheimer’s is eight years (www.dshs.state.tx.us). Currently, most Alzheimer’s patients live in developed countries, implying that the products of industrialization, such as air pollution and processed foods, may play a key role in the development and advancement of Alzheimer’s (en.wikipedia.org). On the other hand, many people in undeveloped nations may not have adequate medical care and therefore they may go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for another mental illness. Recently, geneticists have found supporting evidence that Alzheimer’s is inherited from chromosomes 1, 14, 19, and 21, with late-onset Alzheimer’s being linked to chromosome 19 (www.webmd.com). For example, the risk gene- ... ... middle of paper ... ...kipedia.org). Although scientists have developed drugs that slightly alter the progression of Alzheimer’s, which make the effects less severe, they have not found a way to completely halt the progression of the illness (en.wikipedia.org). On the other hand, scientists continue to suggest that a future cure of Alzheimer’s will most likely contain a certain mixture of the current drugs that treat patients with Alzheimer’s. Currently, there are a handful of drugs that claim to hold a cure for Alzheimer’s; however, these drugs require a certain number of successful clinical trials in order to gain approval by the FDA. After approval, these drugs can be used by doctors, hospitals, or nurses for their patients. Although these drugs may hold the cure for Alzheimer’s, although it remains unlikely, scientists around the world continue to search for a cure for Alzheimer’s.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that alzheimer's is a degenerative brain disease most commonly found in people 65 years and older. it is the third deadliest illness in the united states.
  • Explains that most alzheimer's patients live in developed countries, implying that industrialization, such as air pollution, and processed foods, may play a key role in the development and advancement of alzheimer’s.
  • Explains that geneticists have found supporting evidence that alzheimer's is inherited from chromosomes 1, 14, 19 and 21, with late-onset alzheimer’s being linked to 19
  • Explains that alzheimer's is the only form of dementia where plaques and tangles form inside the patient’s brain.
  • Explains that the pre-dementia stage causes nerve cells to lose their function, which in turn causes them to die. this is called the "spark" for alzheimer's.
  • Explains that alzheimer's spreads to the hippoclamus, the region of the brain shaped like a sea horse, which controls navigation and the conversion of short-term memory to long memory.
  • Describes the mild stage of alzheimer's, wherein plaques and tangles develop in the short-term memory region of the brain, causing the patient to become more introverted.
  • Explains that alzheimer's is the third stage of alzheimer’s, which is when the patient is mostly dependent on other people.
  • Explains the advanced stage of alzheimer's, where the patient is bedridden and fed through tubes, which in turn weakens his or her organ systems, including the immune system.
  • Explains that plaques and tangles continue to develop inside of the brain similar to the pre-dementia stage.
  • Explains that alzheimer's can be prevented by living a healthier lifestyle. mediterranean diets, fried foods, and processed foods have better brain function.
  • Recommends that patients exercise at least 3 hours a week, as the brain controls the respiratory system, and weightlifting increases muscle mass by pumping blood to different areas of the body.
  • Explains that alzheimer's attacks patients who have a weak mind. brain-stimulating activities include chess, scrabble, sudoku, and crossword puzzles.
  • Explains that stress destroys the nerve cells in the hippocampus region of the patient's brain, which ultimately deteriorates his or her memory.
  • Recommends that the patient start by going to bed 45 minutes earlier and gradually build his or her way up to an appropriate sleeping cycle.
  • Concludes that if the patient makes an effort to strengthen the aspects of his or her life that are major targets for alzheimer's, their risk for the disease will drastically decrease.
  • Explains that alzheimer's is one of the leading causes of death in developed nations, and a cure hasn't been discovered yet.
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