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Kenley Sperry

William Green
11/12/15
Biology 1090
Alzheimers Disease
Everybody forgets something every once in a while, but people with dementia have a lot
harder time remembering. Dementia is a decrease in brain function that affects ones everyday
life. People around the world suffer from many forms of dementia, but the type of dementia that
affects the greatest amount of people is Alzheimers disease. Alzheimers is a terrible disease that
can ruin the brain function of any given individual and is extremely hard to prevent, because the
exact cause is not known, the chance of development increases with age, and there is no known
prevention or cure.
Alzheimer's disease is an irreversible disease that very slowly deteriorates the brain and it
is mainly characterized by impairment of memory. It is a disease that causes dementia, and
gradually worsens the dementias intensity with age. As dementia increases individuals lose their
cognitive abilities(Draper). Other characteristics that can lead to the diagnoses of Alzheimers are
disturbances in reasoning, language, speech, rational planning, and perception. Scientists believe
that Alzheimer's disease is a result of the brain producing, or accumulating, too much betaamyloid protein that eventually causes nerve cell death. Although this may not be the exact
cause, scientists are not certain as to what exactly cause the Alzheimers disease. Other factors
that may contribute to the development of Alzheimers are strokes, composition of lipoproteins
in the blood, obesity, viral infections, high blood pressure, diabetes, and an excess of free
radicals(Wardlaw).

Alzheimers is a slow and gradual disease. When it first beings to develop there are no
warning signs, after many years the first symptoms can be witnessed(Draper). These initial
symptoms are memory loss, affecting the short term memory, which many people blame on
normal aging. The blame being placed on normal aging only makes the situation worse, because
this is the time period where medication can be used to decelerate the development of
Alzheimers(Crystal). As the disease progresses problems with intellectual function begins to
occur and differences in behavior and personality can be seen. Later on, individuals may become
confused about common sense things such as what day it is, where they live, who someone is,
and what they are doing(Boyd).
The most common symptoms of the Alzheimers disease include; memory loss, such as
forgetting important events. Difficulty preforming everyday tasks, like driving to a familiar
destination. Problems talking to other people, they may forget the names of people or objects and
may struggle to find the right word to say. Confusion about time and place, trouble remembering
where they are and what day it is. Poor judgement, forgetting about personal hygiene or making
bad financial decisions. Issues with problem solving, have trouble completing a series of tasks to
accomplish a goal. Misplacing things, place an item in an unusual spot and have trouble retracing
their steps to find it again. Drastic changes in mood, personality, and behavior. Withdrawal from
social or work activities, have less desire to be a part of social events(Wilkey). Eventually,
people affected with Alzheimers begin to wander, have erratic mood changes, lose control of
bladder and bowels, and lose the ability to care for themselves. Lacking the ability to care for
themselves causes severely deteriorated states of health, which can lead to death(Boyd).
Alzheimers usually occurs later in life and the chances of getting the disease increase as
an individual ages. After the age of seventy an individuals chances increase drastically, and after

the age eighty it is a 50% chance that you will develop Alzheimers. However, very rarely there
are individuals that may develop Alzheimers before the age of 50. This is caused by an inherited
genetic mutation that was passed down from someone that had the disease. In the United States
alone, there are over 5.1 million adults with Alzheimers disease(Wardlaw). Alzheimers is the
sixth major cause of death in the United States. People with Alzheimers live an average of eight
years after the first symptoms become noticeable(Crystal).
There is currently no cure for the Alzheimers disease, but if the right preventative
measures are taken the disease development can be prolonged. Early diagnosis and treatment are
extremely important in prevention of Alzheimers. An individuals brain starts to deteriorate 10
to 20 years before they show symptoms of the disease. The main preventative measures that can
be taken are maintaining brain activity, establishing a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, and
the consumption of Ibuprofen(Crystal). Scientists are not quite sure which part of nutrition plays
a major role in preventing Alzheimers disease, but a proper diet definitely helps. Getting enough
antioxidant nutrients, like Vitamin C and Vitamin E, increases the bodys defense against free
radicals. Consuming adequate amounts of Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, and dietary fats reduce the
chances of Alzheimers developing. Also, diets rich in Omega-3 and low in saturated and trans
fats contribute to a lower chance of disease development(Wardlaw). Physical activity has been
shown to increase the mental status of Alzheimers patients(Crystal).
This disease can affect anyone and the chances of it developing increase as an individual
ages, which makes it unpredictable. The fact that scientists do not know the exact cause of
Alzheimers makes it really hard to find a cure. Since symptoms do not develop until the disease
has destroyed brain function people are unable to prevent disease development. These attributes

are what makes Alzheimers able to destroy the brain function of any individual, without the
chance of cure or prevention.

Works Cited
Boyd, Marisa. Alzheimers Disease Diagnosis and Treatments. Hauppauge, N.Y. Nova Science
Publishers, Inc. 2010. Print.
Wardlaw, Gordon. Foundations of Nutrition. Mc Graw Hill Education LLC. 2015. Print
Draper, Brian. Understanding Alzheimers Disease and Other Dementias. Jessica Kingsley
Publishers. 2013. Print.
Crystal, Howard. Alzheimers Disease. MedicineNet.com Sep. 17, 2015. Web. Nov. 20, 2015.
Wilkey, Kaye. "Alzheimer's." Personal interview. 19 Oct. 2015.