Many things can cause damage to the brain cells such as, diseases that cause deterioration in the brain like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Strokes, nutritional deficiencies, and head injuries can all also cause the on set of Dementia in a person. The symptoms of Dementia are widely varied, but at least two or more mental functions must be significantly weakened to be considered to have Dementia. Memory loss and the ability to focus and pay attention much are two common symptoms seen in patients who have Dementia. Memory loss is usually the earliest and most noticeable symptom (WebMD 2011).
There are many risk factors for Alzheimer’s but greatest known risk factor is increasing age. The majority of people with this illness are 65 and older but there are also some cases where there is early onset as well. Like all chronic diseases, Alzheimer’s symptoms gradually worsen throughout the years. The average survival rate of those with Alzheimer’s is eight years and unfortunately, there is no current cure for this disease. However, there are treatments available to lessen the severity of the symptoms and to increase the quality of life of Alzheimer’s patients.
("Dementia.") Alzheimer’s disease, or AD, is not a normal part of aging, although risk of developing the illness increases with age. The onset behavior of the disease normally doesn’t appear until age sixty and older. Though symptoms that appear before age sixty have occurred, it is less common and tends to run in families; these early onset also tend to progress more rapidly. (“Alzheimer’s Disease”) AD is one of the top ten most leading causes of death in America.
ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AND OBSERVABLE CHANGES TO THE BRAIN Alzheimer’s is neurodegenerative disease and the most common form of dementia among older people, which usually begins after age 60. Within the cerebral cortex, proteins called Tau (threads within the neurons) and plaques called Amyloid-β (clumps of proteins found in tissue surrounding the neurons) interact to regulate axonal transport. Disruption of the normal process called proliferation (Rapid increase) leads to the accumulation of plaques and tangles. In a healthy brain, these protein fragments would break down and clear out, but in Alzheimer's patients, the fragments accumulate between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain forming hard, insoluble plaques, mostly in the hippocampus, which is essential for memory. These two proteins and their signaling pathways functioning normally are vital in hopes of keeping the brain from succumbing to Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer’s disease affects as many as 4 million Americans. It can affect almost any age but still is more common in the ederly. As ageing population continues to increase, so does the disease. Today, 3% of the people ages 65 to 75 have alzheimer’s, 10% of those aged 75 to 85 have alzheimer’s and half the age 85 may have it to. Without a new cure it is estimated that alzheimers will affect over 14 million people by 2050.
However, AD is not a normal part of aging. The processes which occur in an AD patient are still extensively researched. Nerve cells in the regions controlling the above mentioned faculties are lost and certain neurotransmitters' performance is damaged. The two most affected types of brain cells by AD are neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. While some neuritic plaques are commonly found in brains of elderly people, they appear in excessive numbers in the cerebral cortex of Alzheimer patients.
The Cerebrum controls intelligence, memory, language skills, emotions and personality. As a result, Alzheimer's has many symptoms, which link to the part of the Cerebrum that has been damaged. The results of Alzheimer's are apparent, as one in ten people over 65 and in half of the population over 85. Their disease seriously affects their lives as seven out of ten live at home. The earliest and most common sign of Alzheimer's is a decline in memory.
One in ten people over the age of 65, and over half of those over 85 have Alzheimer’s disease. It is stated that over 15 million Americans will be affected by year 2050. One main reason for this is the rapid growth of the oldest age groups in the United States population. The number of individuals who are 75 to 84 years of age will double, and the number of people who are 85 years of age will quadruple believe it or not. This disease makes it very difficult for older people to go on with their daily routines.
Dementia is defined by the World Health Organization as a syndrome due to damage of the brain cells that most often chronic and progressive in nature. Some of the cortical functions that become impaired include memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language and judgment. Other manifestations that may accompany this disease are deterioration in emotional control, social behavior or motivation (Ouldred & Bryant, 2009) Dementia is not a normal part of aging, however it occurs most frequently in the older population. Fifteen percent of Americans over the age of sixty-five have dementia, and as the average life span continues to increase, so will the number of those affected by dementia (Fredman, James, Johnson, Scholz, & Weuve, 2012). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the pathophysiology, risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options for different types of dementia.
(2006), 4.6 million people throughout the world are diagnosed with dementia every year, and the number of people in Europe suffering from dementia will increase to 13 million in 2040; and Wimo et al. (2003) estimates that approximately 63 million worldwide will suffer from this illness by 2030. This has crucial implications since it is an illness that is associated with long-term care (LTC). However, while LTC is an important consideration, the quality of life and how people with dementia cope with the illness are also of much concern, but less dealt into. Dementia can undermine a person’s self-worth and esteem, and affects most aspects of daily living (Preston, Marshall, & Bucks, 2007) affecting one’s quality of life (QOL).