Alzheimer's Disease Essay

Alzheimer's Disease Essay

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Alzheimer's Disease

Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906 was the first to described Alzheimer's disease (AD). Millions of people have been diagnosed with the disease ever since. Alzheimer's disease (pronounced Alz'-hi-merz) is a progressive, degenerative disease that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Alzheimer's disease occur in younger adults?

Yes, though less frequently. The disease can occur in people in their 30s, 40s and 50s, however, most people diagnosed with Alzheimer's are older than 65. The early onset form of the disease that strikes younger people accounts for less than 10 percent of all reported cases and is considered quite rare. Scientists believe this variation of the disease may be genetically transmitted across multiple generations of the same family.

Does Alzheimer's disease run in families?

The evidence is not clear. Cases where several members of a single family have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's is rare (except in families who have a history of early onset Alzheimer's, a form of the disease that typically strikes middle-aged members of the same family). Much more common is the situation where a single-family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer's late in life.

What causes Alzheimer's?

Scientists are still not certain. Age and family history have been identified as potential risk factors. Researchers are exploring the role of genetics in the development of Alzheimer's, but most agree the disease is likely caused by a variety of factors. Each year, scientists are uncovering important new clues about potential causes of the disease, which is helping to generate more accurate diagnostic tests and better treatment options fo...


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...ligations, but most people retain or eventually regain their interest. The person with Alzheimer's disease may remain disinterested and uninvolved in many or all of his usual pursuits.

Scale for Stages of Alzheimer's

Scale Stage Characteristics
1 Normal Adult No functional decline.
2 Normal Older Adult Personal awareness of some functional decline.
3 Early Alzheimer's Disease Noticeable deficits in demanding job situations.
4 Mild Alzheimer's Requires assistance in complicated tasks such as handling finances, planning parties, etc.
5 Moderate Alzheimer's Requires assistance in choosing proper attire.
6 Moderately Severe Alzheimer's Requires assistance dressing, bathing, and toileting. Experiences urinary and fecal incontinence.
7 Severe Alzheimer's Speech ability declines to about a half-dozen intelligible words. Progressive loss of abilities

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