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Human Diseases Essay: Alzheimer's disease

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Human Diseases Essay: Alzheimer's disease

 Introduction

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease and is the simplest cause of dementia. The term dementia is used to describe a group of symptoms, which includes the loss of memory as well as other difficulties related to problem solving, thinking and recognizing the language. The symptoms arise due to the damage of the brain by certain other diseases which include Alzheimer’s disease too. It is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder which slowly destroys the memory as well as the thinking power. Dr. Alois Alzheimer discovered this disease and it was named after him. In the year 1906, he noticed some of the major changes in the brain tissues of a woman who had died due to an unusual mental disorder (Alzheimer’s, 2015). Her symptoms comprised of the unpredictable behaviour, language issues and loss of memory. This essay will critically review on the aetiology and treatment of the Alzheimer’s disease.

Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease

The symptoms of the AD are normally very mild at the beginning of the disease but with time it gets worse and starts interfering with the daily life of an individual who is suffering from the disease. Mostly there are few common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease but it is important to note that each and every symptom is unique. The symptoms of the Alzheimer’s disease which an individual suffers are as follows:

  • Decrease in the ability of remembering new information which can lead to the repetitive queries during any conversations, losing personal items such as keys, other important documents as well as data, forgetting social events and appointments.

  • Disability in reasoning, judgement as well as complex tasking which includes poor understanding of safety issues, incapability in managing finances, ability in poor decision making and lastly inability in making sequential activities (Armstrong, 2013) .

  • Disability in the visuospatial abilities which includes eye sight issues. This could comprise of the incompetence in recognising faces or other common objects. It also leads to incompetence in using simple tools for the day to day life.

  • Inability in speaking, reading as well as writing which leads to difficulty in thinking of simple words during any conversations or hesitation to speak. It also leads to spelling as well as writing errors while performing any tasks.

  • AD leads to the changes in the behaviour as well as personality of the individuals which leads to the sudden changes in the mood, agitation, apathy and lack of social interest, loss of affinity, and obsessive, compulsive or socially unacceptable behaviour.

If the number and seriousness of the symptoms confirms dementia then the subsequent factors confirms AD. The factors includes the slow beginning of the disease which is from months to years not from hours to days and a noticed deterioration in the individuals normal level of mental health in particular areas

(Dubois, 2014). Difficulties in recovering the past memories are considered to be the early symptoms of AD but it has also been noticed that the individuals suffering from this disease also face problems in other aspects of reasoning, thinking, perception as well as communication. In the year 2016, the published findings of many researchers suggest that a change in the sense of humour might be the early sign of the development of the disease. But, recent researches suggest that the characteristics of AD, might be present already from the mid ages of any individual even though the symptoms of the diseases appear later in the individual after few years.

Stages of Alzheimer’s disease:

Alzheimer’s disease normally progresses slowly in three main stages namely mild stage, moderate stage and severe stage.  AD affects people in distinct ways, therefore each individual experiences symptoms differently. It is estimated that a person with AD can survive for 4-8 years after diagnosis but it has also been seen that a person can live for twenty years depending on the other factors. The stages of the AD are further described as follows:

  • Mild stage (early stage): This stage is also known as early stage where an individual starts functioning independently. Despite the normal social activities the individual performs, he or she might feel of having memory lapse.

  • Moderate stage (middle stage): This stage is described as the middle stage of AD. It is typically the longest stage and said to last for many years. With the progression of the disease, the individuals suffering from AD need great level of care. In this stage, an individual can be noticed with unusual behaviour and due to the deterioration of the nerve cells inside the brain it is difficult for the patient to express thoughts as well as perform tasks.

  • Severe stage (late stage): This stage is also known as the final stage of the diseases. In this stage, individuals lose the capability to respond against the environment and also communication for them becomes difficult (Geda, 2013). The memory as well as mental health gets worse therefore changes in personality takes place and the person needs help to perform the daily activities.

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