Free Alzheimer’s Disease Essay Sample
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It is a common form of dementia among older people i.e. loss of memory coordination beyond what is expected of normal aging or stress (Nordqvist). It begins slowly by first attacking the brain regions that control memory, thought and language. The disease has no cure and occasionally leads to death. It is normally diagnosed in people over the age of sixty-five years, although its mild prevalent stage develops, when one is younger. The disease forms are divided into four main stages, depending on the functional and cognitive impairments levels.
Pre-dementia stage normally exhibits as mild memory loss and failure to acquire new information rapidly. At this stage, the condition is mistakenly attributed to aging and/or stress and does no require clinical diagnosis. The second stage is the early stage whereby the patients qualify for a clinical diagnosis. This is because they suffer from increased impairment of learning and memory loss. Moderate stage is manifested by the subjects’ failure to perform basic activities, essential for daily survival. Some of the symptoms include wandering, irritability, and labile effect that lead to frequent outbursts and resistance to any form of clinical help. The last stage is the advanced, in which the subject is wholly dependent on caregivers for survival.
The causes may be : age, family history, down’s syndrome, whiplash and head injuries, aluminum, gender, mild cognitive impairment, heart disease risk factors, processed foods and fertilizers, strokes and obesity.
The doctor may prescribe the following tests; blood tests, neuropsychological tests and magnetic resonance imaging. Epidemiology involves two main measures: prevalence and incidence. Prevalence is the total number of disease cases in the population at a given time, while incidence is the total number of new disease cases per population unit. The incidence increases as the population ages, while prevalence is dependent on many factors, including incidence and survival.
Clinically, the condition is diagnosed based on the patients’ health history including the general family history and medical observations on neurological and neurophysiologic features. Medical imaging with computed tomography can be applied as an advanced diagnostic method that eliminates other subtypes of dementia that may worsen the condition (Alzheimer's Association). Memory testing is carried out to assess the state of the disease.
Because the condition is terminal, management is the only treatments that can enable the victims survive longer. The condition management involves care giving, psychosocial, and pharmaceutical practices.
There is no definite prevention technique for treatment of the condition at present (Medline plus). However, epidemiological studies have shown relationship between the condition and certain factors like diet, pharmaceutical products, cardiovascular risk and intellectual activities among others. Future clinical research is expected to identify these relationships and come up with a system to adjust them in order to curtail the prevalence of the condition. The risk of the Alzheimer’s disease can be reduced by lowering the risk of the heart disease, as the two conditions have proven to be interrelated.