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Alzheimer's Disease Essay

1470 words - 6 pages

Many people are left confused and are unsure about what Alzheimer's disease is, how to care for Alzheimer's patients, and how to lower their risk of getting the disease. Research has shown many different ways to lower risk. One being folate intake, another is anti-hypertensive medication, and last nanoparticle radiation is used to slow down the progression of Alzheimer's. There are many more studies, but these are the three that I happen to know about. In my paper I would like to answer the following: "What is Alzheimer disease?" how to care for Alzheimer's patients, and how to lower your risk of getting Alzheimer's. I would like also to explain the two ways that research has shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, which include the folate intake and the anti-hypertensive medication, as well as the nanoparticle radiation that is said to slow down the progression.Alzheimer's disease is a progressive degenerative brain disease which has three stages (Cutler & Shamek, 1996). First the disease leads to deficits in cognitive function that cause amnesia (loss of memory), aphasia (impairment of language), apraxia (the inability to motor tasks despite intact motor functions), and agnosia (the inability to recognize despite intact sensory functions). Second, various psychiatric symptoms and behavioral disturbances becomes apparent, such as depression, personality change, delusions, hallucinations, and misidentifications. Third, difficulties with activities of daily living come about early in the disease. They affect feeding, dressing, and using the restroom (Cutler & Shamek, 1996).The first patient of Alzheimer's was first recorded in 1901, and was examined by Alois Alzheimer. Alois Alzheimer was an assistant medical officer at the municipal mental asylum, Frankfurt, Germany. Alois was very interested in dealing with people that have a mental illness (Cutler & Shamek, 1996). Alois's first recording of symptoms of Alzheimer's included rapid increasing memory impairments, the carrying of objects around then hiding them, jealousy towards family members, and patients being paranoid (Cutler & Shamek, 1996).Alzheimer's disease has received and increased interest in the years since it was first discovered. This is because the affected population is growing. Age seems to be the only clear risk factor for the disease. Researchers have also found that people who carry the gene for the protein, Apolipoprotein E4, are at a higher risk; however, no all people with the gene develop Alzheimer's (Cutler &a Shamek, 1996).Mental status testing is used to help the physician determine the extent of cognitive and behavioral impairment. The patient is asked to answer questions and perform tasks. Example questions may include: "What is today's date?" "Who is the President of the United States?" Tasks may include putting paper in an envelope, naming objects in a photo, or repeating words that have been said a couple of minutes earlier (Cutler & Shamek,...

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