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ALZHEIMERS

DISEASE
Irelynn Herren
PHED 155-001
Why I Chose To Talk About Alzheimers
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, deteriorating disorder that attacks the
brain's nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and
language skills, and behavioral changes.

I feel like this disease is one thats often overlooked by the general public because
its very common. But just because something happens a lot doesnt mean you
should stop caring about it.
In fact, its the exact opposite.
It was about three years ago when I came to the realization that my nana was
losing her memory and it was merely a few weeks ago when she had to be put in a
place where they could better care for her and meet her needs. Its hard for me to
think about the fact that shes dying and I dont know how Im going to face it once
she does die. That being said, she cant remember half of the things she used to and
shes not the same person she once was.
I blame Alzheimers for that.
Everyone thinks Alzheimers disease is just a part of getting old,
but it shouldnt have to be.
Prevalence
While Alzheimers disease isnt a normal part of aging, it
is currently ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in
the United States.
Approximations vary, but experts
suggest that more than 5 million
Americans may have Alzheimers.
Unless the disease can be
effectively treated or prevented,
the number of people with it will
increase pointedly if current
population trends continue. Thats
because the risk of Alzheimers
increases with age, and the U.S.
population is aging.
Causes & Risk Factors
Nobodys really 100% sure what all of the causes of Alzheimers are, but
here are a few risk factors that studies have shown contribute to it.

Factor Explanation
Aging Age-related changes in the brain may hurt neurons and
contribute to Alzheimers damage, which is why most of its
victims are 65 and older.
Family History Some hereditary genes increase the risk of developing the
disease and are also associated with early onset.
Sex Since women often live older than men, a greater
percentage of them usually get Alzheimers than men do.
Health & Lifestyle There is a great deal of interest in the relationship between
mental decline and vascular conditions such as heart
disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as
conditions with the metabolism such as diabetes and
obesity.
Early Signs & Symptoms
In most cases, the early signs of Alzheimers disease are just the
beginning of the more extreme versions of symptoms the person will
show as they gradually get further into the disease and continuously
get worse. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

1. Memory loss
2. Difficulty planning and problem solving
3. Everyday tasks are a test
4. Times and places are puzzling
5. Fluctuations in vision
6. Words and exchanges are frustrating
7. You misplace things
8. Break in judgment
9. Public withdrawal
10. Temperament changes
Diagnosis
Your primary care doctor may refer you to a physician who focuses on
the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. There is no single
test that can show whether a person has Alzheimer's. While physicians
can usually determine if a person has dementia, it may be difficult to
determine the exact cause.
To diagnose Alzheimers, doctors may:
Ask questions about overall health, past medical problems, ability to carry out
daily activities, and fluctuations in behavior and temperament.
Conduct tests of memory, problem solving, attention, counting, and language
Carry out standard medical tests, such as blood and urine tests, to identify
other possible causes of the problem.
Perform brain scans, such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI), or positron emission tomography (PET), to rule
out other possible causes for symptoms.
Treatments & Solutions
Alzheimers disease is intricate and difficult, and it is
skeptical that any one drug or additional
intervention can effectively treat it.

Current Alzheimer's disease medications and/or management strategies may


momentarily improve symptoms. These tactics emphasize on helping people
maintain mental function, cope with behavioral symptoms, and slow or delay
the symptoms of disease. This can occasionally help people with Alzheimer's
disease get the most out of their current function and maintain independence
for a little while longer. That being said, because there's no cure for
Alzheimer's disease, it's important to seek supportive services and tap
into your care network as early as possible.

When it really comes down to it, the most important part of


treatment is making things easier for the person with the disease
itself as well as their loved ones.
Here are some of the drugs often used to help treat Alzheimers
disease and some more information involving them.
References
http://www.alzfdn.org/
http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/
https://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-
conditions/alzheimers-disease/
http://alz.org/
http://www.alzheimers.gov/alzheimers.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3
052294/
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/15944
2.php#how_common_is_alzheimers_disease