The Stages Of Alzheimer's Disease Essay

987 words - 4 pages

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease of the brain that is characterized by impairment of memory and a disturbance in at least one other thinking function, according to Webster’s dictionary. When people hear about Alzheimer’s disease, they automatically think of older people. This is because this disease most often occurs in adults after the age of sixty-five; research shows that one in eight people will have Alzheimer’s after they reach age sixty-five. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia, which is basically any medical condition that affects the brain. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is said to be a “diagnosis by exclusion,” which really means that there is no known ...view middle of the document...

A mutation of a single gene is one of the things that are found in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients. There are also proteins in the brain that are linked to Alzheimer’s. They are the amyloid precursor and two presenilins, which are responsible in the early onset of the disease. The number one indicator of Alzheimer’s is a gene called apolipoproteinE. There are three forms of this gene. ApoE 4 is the one that is most closely related to Alzheimer’s. This gene is inherited and when a child receives two of them one being from each parent, as a result, the child’s chances of developing the disease is largely increased. ApoE2 is another form of the gene but this one does the opposite. This gene decreases one’s chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease instead of increasing.
There are not many ways to prevent getting Alzheimer’s; it’s a genetic disease, and it also depends on how one’s genes react to our environment. Even though there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are treatments that extend the person’s awareness and memory. Medications can be taken in the early stages to minimize memory loss that the patient is experiencing. One drug that has a positive effect is Tacrine, a drug that is used to increase acetylcholine, which helps to improve memory. Patients are also given anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medicines to change their mood. These drugs are called cholinesterase inhibitors. Along with Tacrine, Aricept is another drug that is commonly used and found to be very successful in delaying the effects of Alzheimer’s. These drugs have been found to help patients in most cases, but genetics show that each case is different; signs and symptoms for Alzheimer’s vary for each patient. These drugs are most effective when used in the earliest stages of the disease. When a patient is taking these drugs, doctors should not prescribe more than one...

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