Visualize waking up one day and completely forgetting where you are, or how you got there. This forgetfulness could be a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, causes slow progressive problems in the brain. “Alzheimer's disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases.” (Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia) Alzheimer’s affects certain tasks of the brain such as remembrance, decision, and day-to-day functions of the body. It predominantly affects adults older than sixty and ultimately destroys a person’s ability to focus, function, and care for themselves. “Although not all memory loss indicates Alzheimer’s disease, one in ten people over 65 ...view middle of the document...
This sign involves an inability to deal with the person’s own personal finances. Getting lost is the most terrifying sign. Patients become disorientated in familiar places, such as their way home even if they have been driving the same route for the past fifty years. Difficulties with time, language problems, and changes in personality are other signs of Alzheimer’s disease. (Symptoms)
There are three generalized stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The most common stage is the first stage, the mild stage. Mild Alzheimer’s is a stage of having trouble recalling something recently learned and having a hard time making decisions. During this stage, surrounding people may not recognize at first and a doctor can prescribe medicine to improve the functions of your brain. This stage can last for years and the disease may not ever increase from this point. At this phase, it is a good time to decide how you want to be cared for the rest of your life if the disease does decide to progress. (Alzheimer’s Disease Stages)
The next stage, known as Moderate Alzheimer’s, is the longest stage. Each person’s symptoms vary during this stage. This is the stage when the Alzheimer’s gets worse and living with a caregiver may be necessary. The last and late stage of Alzheimer’s disease is Severe Alzheimer’s. During this phase, the brain is not able to tell the body how to function. Most patients, who are diagnosed with this stage of Alzheimer’s, cannot recall their life history and cannot complete simple tasks. (Alzheimer’s Disease Stages)
Alzheimer’s disease is a non-curable disease, however it is treatable. Rivastigmine, an active ingredient in Exelon Patch, has shown to make improvements on memory, reasoning, understanding, communication, and other bodily functions. This medication is the only Alzheimer’s medicine comes in a patch form that can be put on the upper arm, upper chest, upper back and lower back. The patch releases medication for a continuation of 24 hours. The medicine is absorbed through the skin. This is often used for patients who have trouble swallowing. (How Exelon)
Acetylcholine and Glutamate are two medications that are commonly taken by mouth to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Acetylcholine is known to slow down the breakdown of a chemical that is involved with learning and memory in the brain. Glutamate is also a chemical medication, however, it helps regulate the abnormal activity of Glutamate in the brain and is taken twice a day. “There is still no evidence that these two medicines will prevent or slow down the process for patients with Alzheimer's” (Moderate).
“An evaluation to diagnose Alzheimer's disease consists of several parts: taking a recent history of mental and behavioral symptoms; a physical examination; and neuropsychological tests” (Diagnosis). A brain autopsy is the most definitive way to diagnose a patient with Alzheimer’s disease. However, when a person is alive, the doctors can “correctly diagnose Alzheimer's disease about 90...