Since then research has developed a deeper understanding of the changes in the brain. Warning sign’s of Alzheimer's are memory loss that affects home and job skills, problem in speaking, poor judgment, and difficulty in learning. The last stage of Alzheimer's disease is when you’re unable to take care of yourself. The disease can last from 3 to 20 years from the time of onset of symptoms. Alzheimer’s disease affects as many as 4 million Americans.
For reasons not well understood, these plaques and tangles take over healthy brain tissue, which devastates the areas of the brain associated with intellectual function. There are a number of behaviors which may signal that a person might be in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Here is a list of warning signs: (1) difficulty with familiar tasks, (2) slipping job performance, (3) language difficulties, (4) co... ... middle of paper ... ...ar the burden of caring for them. It is a slow, progressive disease with no known cure. As our population ages, Alzheimer’s is a tragedy that is affecting more and more people.
Too much beta-amyloid is toxic and causes plaque buildup between neurons that reduces levels of acetylcholine which makes is difficult to retrieve old memories and make new ones (Marieb and Hoehn 2013). Another abnormality of Alzheimer’s disease is the presence of neurofibrillary tangles inside the neuron. These tangles consist of tau, a protein that leaves its stabilizing role and binds to another tau molecule forming a neurofibrillary tangle. (Marieb and Hoehn 2013). Neurofibrillary tangles then kill the neuron.
Findings from epidemiology, genetics, molecular and cell biology are fitting together in the Alzheimer's puzzle, helping researchers to identify some of the mechanisms that underlie it. Alzheimer's starts because the normal processing of certain proteins goes terribly wrong. This causes brain cells and the spaces between them to be cluttered with pieces of toxic protein. Closer investigating with microscopes has revealed a loss of nerve cells in certain regions of the brain. Some of these dying nerve cells communicate using the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, these compounds eventually break down by an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase.
One of these abnormalities is plaques that clump up, a protein called beta-amyloid which damages and destroys brain cells. In patients with Alzheimer’s the plaques created interfere with cell to cell communication. The other abnormality seen is tangles in the brain. Brain cells depend on an internal support and transport system to carry nutrients and other essential materials throughout their long extensions. This system requires the normal structure and functioning of a protein called tau.
During the preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, people are asymptomatic, but unfortunately there are toxic changes taking place in the brain. Abnormal deposits of proteins form amyloid plaques and tau tangles throughout the brain, causing the once-healthy neurons to work less efficiently. Over time, neurons lose the ... ... middle of paper ... ...ww.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_4719.asp (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/topics/causes (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/topics/treatment (n.d.).
This happens because the levels of acetylcholine are known to drop up to ninety percent beginning in the entorhinal cortex and moving into the hippocampus. Because of this, of the first signs of Alzheimer’s is the loss or decrease of the sense of smell, hence the entorhinal. The cells in the hippocampus called the hippocampal cells lose their connection and the result of this is the total loss of short-term memory. The neurons resting in the cerebral cortex then start to degenerate which in turn leads to the difficulty with the function of language and judgment. This also causes appetite to decline and then there is the loss of control over bowel movements.
Symptoms of Parkinson's Disease Parkinson's Disease is a degenerative disorder of the nervous system. Parkinson's is a disease that may happen in younger people, but the risk mainly increases with age. This is because many of the cellular systems in the brain are difficult to renew by themselves while there are trillions of nerve cells in the brain to compensate for the loss of these cells. For example, in Parkinson's disease the symptoms are caused by the selective loss of a small population in the brain consisting of about 500,000 dopaminergic cells. The dopaminergic cells are situated deep in the midbrain and carries messages back and forth to nerve cells.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that has behaviors that go along with it. In this disease, the orderly system of the brain becomes damaged and no longer works properly. “The brains of Alzheimer 's disease victims appear shrunken, particularly in large parts of the neocortex, the outer layer of gray matter responsible for higher brain functions such as thought and memory” (“Alzheimer’s Disease,” 2015). It usually begins with minor memory loss of recent events. This memory loss is slowly joined with forgetfulness, cluelessness of hygiene, impaired judgement, and loss of concentration.
Stage seven very severe decline: the person loses the ability to respond to their environment, everyday task become difficult and memory is basically gone (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014). Epidemiology It is estimated that 4.5 million American adults suffer from Alzheimer's disease, it is also estimated that every 67 seconds a new case of Alzheimer’s in the U.S. One in twenty people over the ... ... middle of paper ... ...imer’s disease. (2013, January 19). In Mayo Clinic. Retrieved February 19, 2014 Seven Stages of Alzheimer's .