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Pathophysiology, Progression, and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

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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. The disease progresses in five stages that will vary with every patient. There is no current acceptable treatment to reverse or stop the progression of the disease.

Pathophysiology, Progression, and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects cognitive function in the elderly population. It is an irreversible, progressive disease involving decline in memory and other intellectual abilities (Spremo-Potparevic, Živkovic, Plecas-Solarovic & Bajic, 2011). According to the National Institute of Health, the majority of people who have Alzheimer’s are age 65 and older (NIH, 2012). Around two-thirds of Americans who have Alzheimer’s are women. The reason for this may be that women have a longer lifespan than men (NIH, 2012).
A small percentage of those with the disease have early-onset Alzheimer’s. Of those who have early-onset Alzheimer’s an even smaller percentage have early-onset familial Alzheimer’s, which is the development of Alzheimer’s before the age of 65 along with the existence of a close relative who has the disease. This type of Alzheimer’s usually affects people in their 40’s or 50’s and is very rare (Huether & McCance, 2012). The third and most common type of Alzheimer’s is late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Late-onset Alzheimer’s dise...

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Spremo-Potparevic, B., Živkovic, L., Plecas-Solarovic, B., & Bajic, V. P. (2011). Chromosome instability in alzheimer’s disease. Archives of Biological Sciences, 63(3), 603-608. doi:
10.2298/ABS1103603P

References
Huether, S., & McCance, K. (2012). Understanding pathophysiology. (5th ed., pp. 357-361). St.
Louis, MO: Elsevier.
NIH. U.S Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute on Aging. (2012). 2011-
2012 alzheimer's disease progress report. Retrieved from website: http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/2011-2012-alzheimers-disease-progress-report/understanding-biology-alzheimers Spremo-Potparevic, B., Živkovic, L., Plecas-Solarovic, B., & Bajic, V. P. (2011). Chromosome instability in alzheimer’s disease. Archives of Biological Sciences, 63(3), 603-608. doi:
10.2298/ABS1103603P
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