On the first day of class, it was proposed that "Brain=Behavior," implying that not only all actions and emotions can be explained by neuronal activity, but also the very sense of self which is so important to many of us. This latter implication was met with considerable resistance. Surely there must be more to an individual's personality and Self than a bunch of patterns of activity across neurons. Through the research I have done for this paper, I have discovered that disorders such as Alzheimer's disease add a new twist to the debate surrounding the origin of the Self. My purpose here is to provide an overview of Alzheimer's disease, including its neurobiological basis, the differences between early and late onset, and some of the possible causes, and then to readdress the question of whether the Self can be traced to the Brain in light of this information.
Over the last few decades, Alzheimer's disease has come to be recognized as the most common form of dementia among the world's older population, affecting an estimated 4 million people in the United States alone (1, 2). It is characterized by progressive loss of memory, language and reasoning skills, and other cognitive functions, as well as changes in personality, such as increased aggressiveness (1, 2). No definite cause has been discovered, and it is as yet without a cure; however, much progress has been and continues to be made, and many scientists believe that a cure will eventually be developed.
Although the causes are unknown, research has shown that the disease begins in the entorhinal cortex and spreads first to the hippocampus and then proceeds to other parts of the brain, particularly the cerebral cortex. Since these two regions are ...
... middle of paper ...
...comprehensive summary of current research regarding the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of Alzheimer's, including care. In addition to this wealth of information, the site has excellent graphical representations accessible by links throughout the text, as well as a glossary of technical terms at the end.
Early and Late Onset as Subdivisions of Alzheimer's Disease, an article by Elizabeth Kensinger published in the online journal, The Harvard BRAIN. Explores and explains research to date regarding these two different forms of Alzheimer's disease, covering the "symptomatic, biological, genetic, neurophysiological and neurological characteristics" of both early and late onset subtypes. Then proceeds to draw conclusions from this data, regarding future approaches to diagnosis and treatment.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Even in a world of modern medicine and major medical advancements like the world has never seen before, some diseases still continue to plague the human race and confuse even some of the brightest scientists today. Unfortunately, Alzheimer Disease (AD) is one of them and it affects between 2.4 and 4.5 million people in America. Alzheimer’s is usually diagnosed in people over the age of 65, but in rarer cases people as young as 16 have it. Since it is a degenerative disease, patients develop it with few symptoms at an earlier stage, but then it gradually becomes more predominant in how the patient lives his or her life, developing into dementia ⨥.... [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]
508 words (1.5 pages)
- Alzheimer’s Disease is an irreversible, genetically linked illness. This disease was chosen for the topic of this essay under the consideration that in many families the illness can be incredibly tragic, passing down for generations without mercy. It is not rare to encounter families in which each member is afflicted with a form, mild or severe, of Alzheimer’s. The disease is a progressive brain disease which comes in two separate types: Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease and Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.... [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]
1242 words (3.5 pages)
- Alzheimer’s Disease Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive degenerative disease that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Dementia is the lost of thinking, remembering and reasoning so bad it screws up ability to do daily functions and eventually resolves in death. Dr. Alois Alzheimer’s first discovered the disease in 1906. Since then research has developed a deeper understanding of the changes in the brain.... [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]
1070 words (3.1 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]
662 words (1.9 pages)
- Alzheimer's Disease Alzheimer¡¦s disease is a slow, progressive, and degenerative disease of the brain. This disease is marked by a gradual loss of memory and other cognitive functions. "Alzheimer's Disease is also known as the most common cause of dementia--a general term referring to the loss of memory and the ability to think, reason, function, and behave properly" (Medina,1999). It primarily affects adults in their 60's or older and eventually destroys a person's ability to perform simple, routine tasks or even to care for themselves.... [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]
1720 words (4.9 pages)
- Alzheimer's Disease Alzheimer’s disease is the disease of the century. This disease is affecting many lives, families, and caregivers. This research presented is to help educate on the topic of Alzheimer’s disease, which many people aren’t aware enough about. Statistics are given to show how extreme this disease is, and how many people it’s affecting in society. Also statistics are presented that give the amount of money being spent relating to Alzheimer’s disease. This research explains the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease.... [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]
2412 words (6.9 pages)
- What Is Alzheimer's Disease. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative neurological disorder that leads to impairments in memory, thinking and reasoning. It is a late-life illness that causes a form of brain failure. It produces confused thinking, impairs judgment, changes personality, alters behavior. The illness is progressive and ultimately results in death. While it cannot be cured, it can be treated. During the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease, many people are aware that their memory is failing.... [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]
890 words (2.5 pages)
- Alzheimer's Disease A description of the symptoms and possible causes of Alzheimer's disease as an example of brain malfunction Alzheimer's disease is one of a number of forms of dementia. This type of illness affects the brain by gradually reducing the number of brain cells. This decline in brain tissue can occur in all parts of the brain. However, Alzheimer's deals mainly with the Cerebrum part of the brain. The Cerebrum controls intelligence, memory, language skills, emotions and personality.... [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]
413 words (1.2 pages)
- Alzheimer’s Disease Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain that causes a steady decline in memory. This results in dementia, which is loss of intellectual functions severe enough to interfere with everyday life. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting ten percent of people over 65 years old, and nearly 50 percent of those age 85 or older. My grandmother was diagnosed with “probable” Alzheimer’s disease over two years ago. After finding this out, I wanted to know more about this particular disease.... [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]
715 words (2 pages)
- Alzheimer’s disease is described as a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s memory and clarity to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate, and carry out daily life. (r.1) Alzheimer’s is a disturbing disease affecting millions of elderly people. A person’s risk for the disease is fifty-percent when they reach the age of eighty-five.(r.1) Scientists have been studying the disease for many years now in hope to find answers to a cure for this depressive disease. The disease is persistently being studied with the hope of cures, and a better understanding of how one person can conquer Alzheimer’s disease.... [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]
1428 words (4.1 pages)