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Alzheimer’s disease is relentlessly destroying the brains and lives of our nation’s older adults, robbing them of memory, the ability to reason, and affecting their emotions and behavior. Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the brain. The longer we live the greater the risk: one out of every two Americans aged 85 and older and one out of every 10 aged 65 and older are afflicted with the disease. It affects two groups of people: those with the disease and the loved ones who care for them. By the year 2050, an estimated 14 million Americans will be in its grip.
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects cognitive function in the elderly population. The exact cause of the disease is unknown but may include genetic as well as environmental factors. A progression of specific neurological changes allows the progression of the disease. Short-term memory losses along with dementia are typical symptoms of the disease. A definite diagnosis of the disease currently can only be confirmed by an autopsy.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a severe, incurable form of dementia that causes impairment and cognitive deficits such as language, speech, memory and basic motor skills (Buckley, 2011). Currently in the United States, there are 5.2 million individuals living with AD (Alzheimer’s Association, 2013). AD is a deterioration of one’s cognitive functions that prevents the ability for daily function and unfortunately has no known cure or preventative methods (Buckley, 2011).The main deficit that AD has on the brain is the deterioration of different areas of the brain. Not only does a physical toll contribute to patients with AD, but there is also a social stigma that impedes on the normal daily function of life. In this literature review, I will discuss the different effects that AD has on the brain and the outcome of what various repercussions can occur.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive and fatal form of dementia, frequently seen in the elderly altering their cognition, thought process and behavior. AD is reported in about half of patients that have a dementia diagnosis; one study states that about 10.3% of the population over 65 years is affected by dementia with an increase to almost 50% over the age of 85. (Beattie, 2002) Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of the aging process in humans, but rather found in a group of diseases that affect the brain leading to a decline in mental and physical control. AD when diagnosed has a very slow and gradual course, initially affecting the individual’s short term memory. (Beattie, 2002) Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death, affecting more than five million people in the United States and is also one of the most common forms of dementia.
Neurological retardation and impaired immune systems render these individuals more susceptible to infection and disease. In the early l900s, Downs Syndrome patients rarely lived to reach the age of twenty, as they only had a life expectancy of about 10 years. With the advances of modern health care, most individuals, excluding those with irreparable heart damage, live to reach adulthood. Although it is still shorter than normal adults, their life expectancy has increased to about fifty-five. The disorder was initially described as Mongolism by British physician John Langdon Down.
People who have the Late-onset Alzheimer’s originates from a complicated series of brain changes that occur over a long period of time. Current drug treatments are given to slow down the cognitive damage temporally. Scientist are currently researching that the disease may be triggered by different factors however age is the most known factor . This nerve racking disease called Alzheimer’s also known as AD was discovered in 1906 by Dr Alois Alzheimer a German physician, this was not considered a critical Disease until the 1970s.It all began with a documented case of a woman by the name Of Auguste D in her in fifties who showed signs of a cognitive disorder as it relates to her memory and socializing with her family. She later died and this great physician decided to do an autopsy on her brain, he then noticed a shrinkage in and around the nerve cells of her brain which led significantly to the discovery of this disease.
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Word reading in Alzheimers disease: Crossectional and longitudinal analyses of response-time and accuracy data. Neuropsychologia, 36, 155-171. Tadd, W. (2002). Vascular Dementia. Website www.uwcm.ac.uk/study/medicine/geriatric_medicine/ageing accessed on 24/03/03.
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