Alzheimers disease Essay

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Alzheimer's disease

What is Alzheimer’s disease
0 Alzheimer's is a form of pre-senile dementia (a range of

disorders affecting memory and thinking) that gradually worsens over time.
0 Scientists are not fully sure what causes Alzheimer’s; though heart disease, family history, head trauma and poor diet are risk factors
0 The first symptoms are usually presented in 40-50 year olds. Around 465,000 people in the UK suffer from it, making it the most common form to dementia
Alzheimer's affects the cerebrum in the brain

How it affects the memory
0 During the course if the disease, “tangles” ( Neurofibrillary

tangles are tangles in the long fibres of the brain cells) and
“plaques” (amyloid plaques are sticky build-ups that accumulate outside the nerve cells in the brain) appear in the brain structure and subsequently cause brain cells to die
0 Alzheimer's patients may have shortages of chemicals
(acetylcholine) that (along with the brain cells) transmit messages within the brain
0 Permanent memories must be consolidated by the hippocampus ( located in the temporal lobe of the brain). If the brain cells are damaged, then long-term memories cannot be made
The neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques on the neurons of a person with

The symptoms
0 The early stages of Alzheimer’s may cause lapses in

memory and problems finding the correct words. As the disease progresses, the following symptom’s occur- Confusion and forgetting the names of people, places and events - Mood swings
-Withdrawal, due to lack of confidence or communication problems -Difficulty carrying out everyday activities
0 Mild cognitive impairment is used by doctors to describe a patient who suffers from memory loss but not Alzheimer’s

A diagram the show the brain activity (high areas shown in red) of normal brain, MCI brain and Alzheimer’s

The Signs
Here is a list of 10 signs of Alzheimer’s disease:
Memory loss that disrupts daily life
Challenges in planning or solving problems
Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
Confusion with time or place
Trouble understanding