preview

Alzheimer's Disease: What are we Forgetting?

Better Essays
Alzheimer's Disease: What are we Forgetting?

Alzheimer's disease (pronounced Alz'-hi-merz) is a progressive, degenerative disease that affects the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior. It was first described by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and has been diagnosed in millions of people to this day (1). This disease results, ultimately, in the destruction of the brain and brings new meaning and insights into just how much brain may equal behavior.

Alzheimers is a degenerative disease that usually begins gradually, causing a person to have memory lapses in both basic knowledge and simple tasks (7). Alzheimers disease causes the formation of abnormal structures in the brain called plaques and tangles (particularly causatory are NFTs- neurofibrillary tangles) (5). As they accumulate in affected individuals, nerve cell connections are reduced. Some initial symptoms are loss of job skills, difficulty with familiar tasks, language problems, unawareness of time and place, lack of good judgment, problems with abstract thinking, misplacing things, and dramatic changes in personality (1). The speed with which the disease progresses can vary, but ultimately, as it destroys brain cells, causes confusion, personality and behavior changes and impaired judgment so severe that the patient may not seem to be the same person. Communication becomes difficult for the patient as they struggle to find words, finish thoughts or follow directions. Some experts classify the disease by stage (early, middle and late). But specific behaviors and how long they last vary greatly, even within each stage of the disease. Eventually, most people with Alzheimers become unable to care for themselves (1). The symptomology here is very dif...

... middle of paper ...

...hem. The person is no longer "there", yet their body can be seen plainly.

So who are we? Flesh? Brain? Something else that our brain and flesh create together? Probably. Those afflicted with Alzheimer's experience the ultimate brain shutdown. Their brains are destroyed by a currently unstoppable disease; connections are lost. And in the process of losing their minds, they lose themselves.

WWW Sources

1)Alzheimer's Association

http://www.alz.org/

2)Alzheimers.com

http://www.alzheimers.com/

3)Alzheimer's Disease Review

http://www.coa.uky.edu/ADReview/

4)Alzheimer Research Forum

http://ww.alzforum.org/

5)Alzheimer starting point?

http://www.uni-hohenheim.de/~rebhan/entorhinal.html

6)Alzheimer Web

http://dsmallpc2.path.unimelb.edu.au/ad.html

7)The Health Connection

http://thehealthconnection.com/Disease%20Center/diseases/alzheim.asp
Get Access