Dementia and Alzheimer’s Research Analysis Paper
Irvine Valley College
Part 1: Introduction
The topic I am writing about is memory loss or more specifically: Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Modern medicine has improved significantly in the last decade and the average human lifespan has been extended. However, since humans are living longer, there is also an increased susceptibility for chronic diseases as opposed to infectious diseases. A chronic disease that is slowly on the rise is Alzheimer’s, as it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. This topic is important to me because I’ve had numerous encounters with patients with dementia and have seen the impact it has on many families and friends. Additionally, the brain is arguably the most important organ in our body; therefore diseases that affect the brain usually cause irreversible damage.
Dementia encompasses a wide category of brain diseases that cause long term loss of the capacity to think and reason to the extent in which it is severe enough to affect a person's basic functions. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia and makes up for up to eighty percent of dementia cases. There are many risk factors for Alzheimer’s but greatest known risk factor is increasing age. The majority of people with this illness are 65 and older but there are also some cases where there is early onset as well. Like all chronic diseases, Alzheimer’s symptoms gradually worsen throughout the years. The average survival rate of those with Alzheimer’s is eight years and unfortunately, there is no current cure for this disease. However, there are treatments available to lessen the severity of the symptoms and to increase the quality of life of Alzheimer’s patients.
Alzheimer's affects the part of the brain that affects learning so the first symptom is usually memory loss. As Alzheimer's progresses through the brain, it leads to increasingly severe symptoms, some of which include: behavior changes, difficulty speaking, swallowing, etc. The brain is composed of billions of neurons, which interact and connect with each other, which allow us to perform our everyday activities. Plaques and tangles are the two structures that are suspected for the damage of nerve cells. Plagues are deposits that build up between neurons and tangles build up inside the neurons. Most people develop these abnormal obstructions as they age, but those with Alzheimer’s have a tendency to develop much more.
My basic knowledge of Alzheimer’s and dementia comes from my work experience and from my classes. I’ve also attended many educational Alzheimer’s seminars, and I know that maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, avoiding mind-alternating drugs, and sleeping more all help in preventing or delaying Alzheimer’s.
Part II: Summary of Articles:
Temporal Relationship Between Depression and Dementia Findings From a Large Community-Based 15-Year Follow-up Study...