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Alzheimer´S Disease: An In Depth Look At Signs, Symptoms, And Disgnosis

741 words - 3 pages


Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia affecting the older population. Symptoms are more noticeable over time due to the severity of the stages worsening. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. It accounts for fifty to eighty percent of dementia cases. Contrary to belief Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. Different parts of the brain are affected causing multiple symptoms sometimes not diagnosed until later stages in the disease.
Nerve cell death and tissue throughout the brain is the most significant affect over time. Naturally by age twenty-five the brain starts to decrease in size. With Alzheimer’s, the amount decrease is extremely significant. The cortex begins to shrivel up which is the part of the brain required for planning, remembering, and thinking. The most noticeable shrinkage occurs in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is responsible for the formation of new memories, it is also located inside the cortex. Upon further inspection under microscope, tissue samples are observed and synapses and nerve cell count is severely decreased. Tangles, are also found which our twisted strands of another protein due to nerve cells dying and bunching together. Plaques and tangles are prime suspects in the death and tissue loss in the Alzheimer’s brain. Beta-amyloid is a chemical and is sticky which causes it to gradually build up into plaques. This chemical derives from a larger protein found in the nerve cells with fatty membranes. These tangles destroy a vital cell transport system made of proteins.
There are seven stages of Alzheimer’s, classified by Dr. Barry Reisberg, M.D. clinical director of the New York University School of Medicine’s Silberstein Aging and Dementia Research Center. Each stage carries its level of severity. Stage one typically has no impairment that can be diagnosed by a physician. The patient will not even experience any objective symptoms even upon interview. Stage two there will be mild decline in cognitive behavior’s. The patient may feel slight memory lapses but nothing out of the ordinary for elderly patients. By stage three the decline will be noticed, more often, by friends or family that spend a regular amount of time with the patient. Diagnosis may be detected upon a detailed medical interview. The most typical difficulties include recalling...

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