Taking a Closer Look at Alzheimer's Disease Essay

Taking a Closer Look at Alzheimer's Disease Essay

Length: 779 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia known today. The term “dementia” refers to a variety of conditions that arise from the loss of nerve cell function and/or nerve cell death in the brain, including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other types of mixed dementia. Although all types of dementia arise from neuronal damage and/or death, each form of dementia is associated with distinct brain abnormalities and symptom patterns. Once a patient has been diagnosed with dementia, a physician must conduct further tests in order to determine the exact form of dementia that is present. Recent research indicates that many individuals, especially those of advanced age, have brain abnormalities that are associated with multiple types of dementia; this is classified as mixed dementia (cite).
AD was first identified as a form of dementia in 1906 and accounts for approximately 60-80% of all dementia cases (doi:10.1016/S0197-4580(98)00052-9 cite x2). In 2011, new criteria and guidelines for diagnosing AD were proposed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Alzheimer’s Association. These guidelines updated the criteria published in 1984 and defined three stages of Alzheimer’s disease: preclinical Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. The 2011 guidelines propose that AD begins before the development of symptoms, a dramatic change from the criteria set out by the 1984 guidelines.
Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease
Because current research indicates that AD related brain changes may begin 20 or more years before symptoms occur, the preclinica...

... middle of paper ...

...eneration of neurofibrils in the brain (cite).
Protein Misfolding
Genetic Mutation
Genetic mutation, an abnormal change that occurs within genes, is the only known cause of AD; however, this factor only accounts for less than 1% of all cases. Three known genetic mutations have been shown to cause AD. These mutations involve the genes for amyloid precursor proteins, presenilin 1 proteins, and presenilin 2 proteins (cite report). Presenilin 1 and 2 genes are involved with the survival of nerve cells in the brain and the processing of amyloid precursor proteins (cite NIH article). An individual who inherits any of these genes is guaranteed to develop AD, sometimes as early as age 30. Generally, individuals with “dominantly inherited” AD develop early-onset AD, indicating that disease symptoms develop before age 65 (cite report).
Prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Analysis Of The Movie ' Alzheimer 's Disease '

- As rare as it is to get Early-Onset Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Alice Howland was among the 5% diagnosed with it. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior”. Clearly, that is what Alice had and was noticeable throughout the movie. If someone were to compare two characters in the movie, could they not compare Alice at the beginning of her diagnosis and at the end of it. When looking back at Alice in the beginning of the movie one can see her colorful and smart personality shine through, whereas at the end of the movie it is evident that she can no longer remember words or dress herself, which clearly show...   [tags: Alzheimer's disease, Memory, Dementia]

Better Essays
1327 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about Alzheimer 's Disease : The Most Common Form Of Dementia

- Alzheimer 's Disease Imagine this, you walk into your mother 's room one day the smell of candles fills the air, you can hear her humidifier going off, and she blankly stares at you as you walk in. She looks you up and down with the most confused look on her face, she appears scared and frightened as you notice her muscles tense up, she looks at you and says “Are you the new nurse?” When most people hear the word alzheimer 's they instantly think memory loss, while yes memory loss is a key factor of alzheimer 's it is far from the only problem that arises from alzheimer 's disease....   [tags: Alzheimer's disease, Neuron, Brain, Neurology]

Better Essays
1242 words (3.5 pages)

Alzheimer 's Disease : The Most Common Type Of Dementia Essay

- Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, which is a general term for a condition in which people lose memory and other mental abilities to such a degree that the losses interfere with daily functioning. The main feature is the continuing death of brain cells that usually begins in the hippocampus, and then expands to include the cerebral cortex, which includes the frontal, parietal and temporal lobes. As the disease progresses, the brain shrinks as an increasing number of brain cells dies and synapses are destroyed....   [tags: Alzheimer's disease, Neuron, Cerebral cortex]

Better Essays
2181 words (6.2 pages)

The Role of Genetics in Alzheimer's Disease Essay

- The Role of Genetics in Alzheimer's Disease The call came at 9:05 p.m. on January 20, 2004. Mom had just finished telling the news about the girl's grandfather. He had Alzheimer's Disease and was not doing well at all. The ruling was that he probably would not make it through the night. She knew exactly what the news was the moment her mom said, "No." After the news came, the decision was made they would leave the next day to attend the funeral. This girl began wondering, "If grandpa had Alzheimer's do I have a chance of getting it too....   [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]

Better Essays
3023 words (8.6 pages)

Alzheimer's Disease Essay

- Alzheimer’s Disease      Imagine waking up one morning and you cannot remember where you are or your own child’s name. This could be a direct sign that you or a family member has Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia, which means that it affects certain functions of the brain such as memory, logic, and everyday bodily functions. This disease was first described by a doctor named Alois Alzheimer in 1906. He discovered unusual growths of fibers in the brains of woman that had died from an unusual mental illness (National Institute, 1995)....   [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]

Better Essays
1478 words (4.2 pages)

Alzheimers Disease Essay

- Alzheimer’s Disease Alzheimer’s disease is a complex illness that affects the brain tissue directly and undergoes gradual memory and behavioral changes which makes it difficult to diagnose. It is known to be the most common form of dementia and is irreversible. Over four million older Americans have Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to triple in the next twenty years as more people live into their eighties and nineties. (Johnson, 1989). There is still no cure for Alzheimer’s but throughout the past few years a lot of progress has been made....   [tags: Alzheimer's Disease Essays]

Better Essays
1096 words (3.1 pages)

Taking a Look at Progeria Essay

- Infirmed aging is having a condition of weakness or illness that usually lasts for a long time and is caused especially by old age. Progeria is the severe disease of the infirmed aging branch and is defined as a progressive genetic disorder that causes children to age rapidly, beginning in their first two years of life. Progeria only affects one in eight million people in the world. The term Progeria is gathered from the Greek word geras, meaning old age. Children with progeria usually don’t show any signs when they are birthed but in a year or so their growth rate starts to slow down....   [tags: infirmed aging condition in children]

Better Essays
1163 words (3.3 pages)

Taking a Closer Look at Gene Therapy Essay

- Gene Therapy Genetic disorders have been plaguing people for ages and causing death. As of today in the year 2013 new information and research, and something called gene therapy, hope now exists for these less fortunate individuals. Gene therapy is a technique for correcting defective genes responsible for disease development. Research Scientist realizes it has been around for a while now and is getting more advanced with time. Experiments which is a ongoing process pertaining to gene therapy. Ethical issues are something that has been accompanying the procedure since it has been used....   [tags: genetic disorders, ethical issues]

Better Essays
942 words (2.7 pages)

Placement of Patients with Alzheimer's Essay

- Alzheimer’s Placement Imagine waking up and you can’t remember where you are or who your own husband is. That’s Alzheimer’s disease, so what exactly is it. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that attacks the brain causing normal functions and everyday living so unfamiliar. “Without memory there is no knowledge to recreate or reproduce past perceptions, emotions, thoughts, and actions that are so vital to live a full and functioning life. Memory is the key that unlocks doors that keep us functioning, not only mentally but physically (Corrick 32).” As the brain is being attacked and starts to shut down it is no longer safe to be living at home without direct supervision....   [tags: special care units ]

Better Essays
717 words (2 pages)

Essay about The Chronic and Incurale Disease of Alzheimers

- ... If your answer to this question is yes then you will be more likely to develop the disease. With that comes the next deciding factor of having Alzheimer's, genetics. Genetics are broken up into two main categories, Risk genes and Deterministic genes. Risk genes raise the chances of developing a disease but do not guarantee that it is going to happen. The risk gene that influences this is called apolipoprotein (APOE-e4), and can be inherited from either parent. Now on the other hand, deterministic genes will directly cause the disease guaranteeing the recipient of those genes, development of the disorder....   [tags: genes, diagnos, patients]

Better Essays
641 words (1.8 pages)