The Horrible Disease Of Alzheimer 's Disease Essays

The Horrible Disease Of Alzheimer 's Disease Essays

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The horrible feeling of forgetting a coworker’s or an acquaintance’s name may be one of the most frustrating things a person can experience. This is a fact that many patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s face on a reoccurring basis. Loss of memory is a common part of the aging process and is sometimes referred to as dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and is not reversible in this day and age. In fact, 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases are Alzheimer’s and in 2015 more than 5.1 million cases age 65 or older were reported (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016). The most startling statistic is that by 2050, 14 million Americans and 81 million worldwide cases are expected (Wierenga & Bondi, 2011). While dementia is a part of Alzheimer’s it also affects an afflicted patient ability to perform day to day tasks, increased mood swings, and in the later stages, the ability to even walk or care for themselves. This horrible disease was identified by German physician Alois Alzheimer, he discovered the disease in 1901 while examining slices of deceased mental ward patient Auguste Deter (Marsa, 2015). The following discussion about this disease will center on, what Alzheimer’s is, financial costs to patients and caretakers, and finally the research and treatment of the disease.
What Dr. Alzheimer discovered in the brain of Auguste were small clumps of hard proteins and tangle fibers called beta-amyloid peptides and tau tangles respectively, at the end of nerve cells. The peptides bundle up on the exterior of brain nerve cells and disrupt the flow of electrical signals between neurons, while the fibers choke neurons to death. This is why Alzheimer’s slowly progresses unlike a brain injury such as a stroke that immediatel...

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...l is not lost on a cure for Alzheimer’s though. Scientist have been able to eradicate the disease from mice and some drugs show promise in doing the same in humans. Many of them believe that the treatment of the disease will be much like the treatment for AIDS or cancer and utilize a “cocktail” of drugs (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016). The Alzheimer’s Association alone has contributed over $350 million in grants for the research into a cure.
As shown in the previous paragraphs, Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. This disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and is the only one of the top ten causes of death in the United States that “cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed” (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016). These are frightening figures and one can only hope that the scientists performing their research create a cure or prevention soon.

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