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What Is Alzheimer's

  • Date Submitted: 10/24/2015 02:17 PM
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What is Alzheimer’s disease? Why should people know about it? This is a disease that causes more than just memory loss. Alzheimer’s is a Neurodegenerative Brain disease, and is a common cause of dementia. It currently affects over 5 million Americans, and it is also the 6 leading cause of death in the United States (Alzheimer's Association (2014). A lot of people are not fully aware of the impact this awful disease has; not only on the victim but the caregiver as well. I chose topic of Alzheimer’s disease because I want to shed some light on the history, the effects on the families, and the hope for a cure.

I have been around Alzheimer’s disease since I was about 8 years old. Being that I was so close to my mother I watched her take care of my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s; then again as a teenager I helped her take care of my aunt who also had this disease as well. I have been affected by this disease in numerous ways mentally and emotionally but the real impact didn’t hit until my mother was diagnosed with the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s.
As a neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer studied a case of a 51 year old woman when she died, Alzheimer performed an autopsy and discovered that she had “cerebral atrophy” (deterioration of the brain), “senile plaques” (protein deposits) and “neurofibrillary tangles” (abnormal filaments in nerve cells) in the brain- three common pathological features of people who have Alzheimer’s disease ( Ramanathan, 1997).
There are two types of Alzheimer’s disease: early onset which systems start before the age of 60. All though this type of Alzheimer’s is less common then late onset, it tends to get worst faster. Early onset can run in families. Late onset Alzheimer’s is the most common and it is linked to people over the age of 60, the cause of this disease is still unclear it is said that a person’s genes and environment play a role.
The first stage of Alzheimer’s disease is short term...


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