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Alzheimer's Disease Essay

1233 words - 5 pages

Alzheimer’s Disease is an irreversible, genetically linked illness. This disease was chosen for the topic of this essay under the consideration that in many families the illness can be incredibly tragic, passing down for generations without mercy. It is not rare to encounter families in which each member is afflicted with a form, mild or severe, of Alzheimer’s. The disease is a progressive brain disease which comes in two separate types: Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease and Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. These will be discussed in full later on in the paper.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s are extremely detrimental to the individual whom it affects, as the disease attacks the brain cells and their connections. As the illness progresses, many of the affected brain cells die. In the very beginning stages, many of the symptoms are mistakenly associated simply with the effects of ageing or stress. Issues such as attentiveness, abstract thinking, and mild memory loss which happens to be the most notable of these early symptoms, will all start to appear. As the disease progresses, patients will begin to have a difficulty with perception and execution of motions. Memory will begin to take a heavy toll on the patient at this point, becoming a prominent dilemma. Older memories or episodic memories (such as writing), do not take the brunt of these attacks, but rather newer memories are affected the most. Soon, issues with speech will begin to arise, as the patient’s vocabulary begins to become more and more limited and simplistic. Coordination and movement begin to become difficult task for the persons affected, but can ordinarily be accomplished at this point of the disease.
In moderate cases, the deterioration of the mind will eventually make the affected incapable of performing functions of daily living. Prominent speech issues will occur, as well as the ability to read and write depleting. At this point, coordination is at a point where falls are often major risks, and considering many cases of the disease occur in the elderly, this can become a fatal risk. Close relatives are soon to become unrecognizable and the long term memory of the individual begins to fade as the disease worsens. It is often that at this point of the disease, the patient is put into a care center, as they may become a burden to the family members around them. Emotions swing and become entirely unpredictable and often resistance to care will occur as the patients lose awareness of their condition and become confused with their surroundings.
In advanced stages, loss of speech entirely can occur, though emotional signals can still be cognitive and recognizable. At this point, pertinent exhaustion and apathy are presented as the patient loses the ability to perform the most simplest of tasks. Because the patient becomes bedridden at this point, they are completely dependent on the caregivers. Death usually occurs at this point, not directly due to the disease, but from outside...

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