The Alzheimer disease is a chronic illness with neurodegenerative properties that causes memory, thinking and behavioral problems (Brill, 2005). The development of the symptoms is slow at the beginning; nevertheless become worse as it progresses. It is one of the most common types of dementia. Most people confuse the disease for the normal part of aging; however old people are at a higher risk of attaining the disease. This paper offers an exhaustive account of the Alzheimer disease and its effects on the brain.
A study shows that the Alzheimer disease handles roughly sixty to eighty (60-80) percent of all dementia cases. As stated earlier increasing age is one among the most prevalent risk factors of accruing the disease though it is not an old age disease. It is a progressive disease that worsens over time. The first sign of Alzheimer is memory loss that is a part of cognitive impairment related to the disease. The first symptoms expressed in the disease differ from one person to another (Soukup, 1996). The symptoms appear in the form of word-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment. A research in this field shows that though the symptoms of the disease are not clear during the early stages, the toxicity levels in the brain progress slowly. The early symptoms are mild enough not to affect the daily functions of the individual (Soukup, 1996). The individuals suffering in the early stages of the disease depict mild memory loss, but the effects of the ailment in the later phases are detrimental to the patients losing their ability to hold a conversation. The individuals are suffering from the disease also lose the ability to respond to their surroundings in the later stages of the disease. The survival rate of those with Alzheimer varies with a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 20 years (Soukup, 1996).
The brain progresses over time making several changes along the way. These changes include reduced activity of the brain such that the levels of thinking reduce, and memory retention problems become more imminent (Brill, 2005). These are part of an ordinary process; nevertheless, severe memory loss accompanied by confusion depicts the onset of brain cell failure (Brill, 2005). The brain cells handle numerous functions that coordinate and govern the functions of other parts of the body. Those suffering from Alzheimer rarely realize that they have a problem until it is too late. The symptoms become vivid at the later stages of the illness (Brill, 2005). The functions of the brain are complex; however are necessary for the survival and the well-being of the human being. The Alzheimer disease causes changes in the brain that bring about the symptoms discussed earlier. The brain has a complex structure made up of tiny units referred to as nerve cells that link together to form communication networks (Soukup, 1996). These nerve cells collectively make up the brain; nevertheless their functionality gets divided into different functions. The nerve cells receive and relay information from one point to another that makes up the operations of the body. A study shows that Alzheimer’s disease affects the functionality of the nerve cells (Tuncay, 2015). The details of the onset of the deterrence are not precise; however infection causes damage to the nerve cells that affects the functionality of the other parts of the brain.
Scientists relate the cause of the disease to plaques and tangles. Plaques are deposits of beta-amyloidal protein fragments. These fragments accumulate in the spaces in between the nerve cells when the excess does not get broken down (Tuncay, 2015). Tangles refer to twisted tau protein fibers that build up inside the nerve cell. Scientists propose that the tau threads couple with each other to create neurofibrillary tangles (Tuncay, 2015). These two abnormalities naturally occur as people grow old; however those suffering from Alzheimer have anomalous amounts (Tuncay, 2015). The pattern of development of these proteins begins in the areas that are crucial for memory particularly the hippocampus after which they progress to other areas of the brain. The abnormal deposits of tau and beta-amyloidal protein within the brain progress over time. It prevents the neurons from functioning properly (Tuncay, 2015). The healthy neurons lose their ability to communicate since the connection between the neurons gets broken. The healthy neurons in the brain die slowly as the disease progresses. The death of these neurons affects other parts of the brain causing it to shrivel in size. The desiccation of the brain is evident at the later stages of the disease. At this point, most of the brain has lost its ability to function, and the individual dies (Tuncay, 2015).
The disease has no cure as of now although scientists are working tooth and nail to come up with a cure. Nevertheless, people suffering from the disease can manage the disease ensuring a prolonged life. Researchers in the field have developed medication and other strategies that help ailing people to manage the disease. They also developed prevention methods for the disease using the medication, lifestyle and the diet of an individual as the major components (Brill, 2005).
Alzheimer disease is a chronic
disease that affects the functionality of the brain especially memory
retention and the cognitive abilities of a person. Though the
disease does not have a cure as yet,
there are methods of preventing
or managing the disease. These
methods include better dieting and lifestyles as well as medication.
Brill, M. (2005). Alzheimer’s disease. New York: Benchmark Books.
Soukup, J. (1996). Alzheimer’s disease: A guide to diagnosis, treatment, and management. Westport, Conn: Praeger.
Tuncay, R., (2015).Unraveling Alzheimer’s Disease, Ebook-Emporium.