Essay on Alzheimer's Disease

Submitted By ShaziaMohammed1
Words: 1055
Pages: 5

Alzheimer’s disease What is Alzheimer’s disease? Alzheimer’s disease is an acquired cognitive and behavioral impairment of sufficient severity that markedly interferes with social and occupational functioning. It is also the most common form dementia. Dementia is deterioration of intellectual faculties, such as memory, concentration, and judgment which results from an organic disease or a disorder of the brain. A German psychiatrist named Alois Alzheimer observed a patient at the Frankfurt Asylum, named Mrs.Auguste D. in the year 1901. This 51 year old woman suffered from a loss of short-term memory, and other behavioral symptoms that puzzled Dr. Alzheimer. Five years later, in April 1906 when the patient died the doctor sent her brain and medical records to Munich, where he was working in the lab of Dr.Emil Kraeplin. By staining sections of her brain in the laboratory, he was able to identify amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. And so this how the disease was named as Alzheimer’s disease. At first, it might be hard to recognize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease as they are broken down into three stages which are; early stage, middle stage and last stage. In the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common symptom is short–term memory loss. It also has symptoms like difficulty performing familiar task. Everyday activities such as brushing of one’s teeth, washing of one’s hair or making telephone calls become difficult even confusing tasks. There is also a disorientation symptom in which the patient gets lost in his or her own neighborhood, and also is found putting household items in places they do not belong. Other symptoms of this disease in the early stage are increasing problems with planning and managing daily activities, trouble with language, rapid or unpredictable mood swings, Lack of motivation, and changes in sleep. Once a patient enters the middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms begin to demand constant attention and care. Symptoms of the Middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease are: Hallucinations, Strong feelings of paranoia, anger, and wandering. In the last stage of Alzheimer’s disease patients are unable to take care of themselves at all and the symptoms of this stage are: patients have an inability to communicate with or recognize other people; they have an inability to walk and a difficulty swallowing food and also an inability to smile.
Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed through a complete medical assessment. There is no single test that can show whether a person has Alzheimer’s or not. Most physicians can determine if a person has dementia, but it may be difficult to determine the exact cause. Diagnosing Alzheimer’s requires careful medical evaluation, which includes: A thorough medical history, mental status testing, physical and neurological exam and tests (blood tests and brain imaging) to check signs or symptoms like dementia, also to find the right physician is one of the steps of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, treatment focuses on relieving and slowing down the progress of the symptoms, behavior changes, and complications. However, Alzheimer’s is more often treated by medications such as cholinesterase which is an enzyme that breaks down a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine acts as an important messaging system in the brain. A person with Alzheimer’s has a low level of brain acetylcholine so, cholinesterase inhibitors which stop the breakdown of this neurotransmitter and that increases the amount of acetylcholine in the brain and improve its function. These drugs not only improve or stabilize cognitive functions, they may also have positive effects on behavior and activities of daily living; they are not a complete cure, but they do slow down the rate of decline in some patients with Alzheimer’s. Two of most worrisome trends in healthcare today are the soaring rates of “Type 2”