Alzheimer's disease, a neurodegenerative brain disease, is the most common cause of dementia. It currently affects about 4 million Americans and is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Furthermore, Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of mental damage in elderly people and accounts for a large amount to need assisted living homes, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities. Symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations, have been reported in a large number of patients with this disease. In fact, it is the presence of these psychotic symptoms can lead to early institutionalization. Learning about Alzheimer's disease and realizing that it is much more then just a loss of memory, can benefit the families of those who have lost someone with this disorder or currently ill. As well as society as a whole. The purpose of this paper is to look at the disorder, as well as to discuss the history, symptoms, diagnosis and hopes of a cure for Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive degenerative disease of unknown aetiology, as first described by Alois Alzheimer in 1907.
According to Scientist, it is the common cause of Dementia in the elderly with an incidence ranging from 2.5 to 5 per Thousand. Furthermore, this disease is incurable at Present but there are drug treatments that delay the symptoms in the
Early stages. Therefore, there is a real need for early Identification of the disease, so that a treatment program can be Administered. In the later stages of AD, there are typical neurological signs of the disease. These are plaques and tangles in the hippocampal region of the brain. However, it may be a while into the disease before it can will detected by diagnostic tools such as CT, MRI and fMRI. In addition, reliance on these tools can lead to a false diagnosis of AD, where some form of vascular dementia is actually the cause.
In fact it is also common practice for Neuropsychological to establish the symptoms of AD. Numerous studies have been conducted into the neuropsychiatric symptoms of AD so that diagnosis can be as accurate as possible.
In its early stages of AD raises severe diagnostic problems. This is because up to 30 per cent of dementias may be curable and the possible diagnosis
Of AD needs to be excluded for these to be treated. According to the studies other causes of dementia such as CVD, Parkinsons, Corea, and
Hydrocephalus must be excluded from the testing before making a diagnosis of AD. Also, diagnostic criterion for AD is verbal and non-verbal memory decline, decline of all other cognitive abilities, objective evaluation, environmental awareness, emotional weakness, irritability, apathy and disorders of behavior. A consent pattern of these symptoms accuring at least 6 months must also be present. On top of this, there must also be deficits in executive functions, deficits interfering with working and social activities, gradual changes compared with previous evaluations and slow progressive decline.
An evaluation of the research and diagnosis of possible AD over the last two decades was carried out by numerous people. The study was looked mainly at problems with the NINCDS-ARDA criteria. According to the study, ‘the lack of a clearly delineated border between probable and possible AD has been the source of diagnostic disagreement in most of the published reliability and accuracy studies. One of the examples given was whether AD patients with Mild Cerebrovascular
Disease should be classified as probable or possible AD.
Additionally, issues of differentiation with comorbidities and overlap with possible AD and Mild Cognitive Impairment were noted.
In the study, the AD research centre of Pittsburgh examined 1139 patients with probable AD between April 1983 and February 2000. They found several sub groups of AD with the sensitivity at 97% and the specificity at 80%. However, it was