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Alzheimer Disease Essay

1216 words - 5 pages

Alzheimer’s Disease
HCS245
11/14/2011

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease, also known as dementia is a brain disorder that damages and destroys brain cells. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death. Alzheimer’s disease causes loss of memory, thinking, and other functions of the brain to stop working correctly. Alzheimer’s is most often found in older adults over the age of 65 but this disease is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s also can be found in people under the age of 40 (Alzheimer's Association, 2011).
The brain consists of one hundred billion nerve cells or neurons. These nerve cells are grouped and each group has their own job. Some of these ...view middle of the document...

Most people financially cannot cover the expenses it takes to care for an Alzheimer's patient from the beginning stages to death. The average cost to take care of an Alzheimer's patient is $174,000 (Encyclopedia Of Mental Disorders, 2011).
Possible environmental factors leading to Alzheimer's are aluminum, which is found in drinking water, zinc, which is common in shellfish, beans, and dark turkey meat. Other environmental factors are toxins in contaminated food, high exposure to paint solvents. People who have had head injuries, strokes, and viral infections, such as HIV may also be prone to develop Alzheimer's. Researchers are still studying about to whether these toxins are contributing factors to the disease. Other possibilities still in research are damages caused by oxidation, estrogen deficiency, and inflammation (Encyclopedia Of Mental Disorders, 2011).
Alzheimer's disease has different modes of transmission through inheritence patterns. These different modes of transmission are Single Gene, Multifactorial, and Mitochondrial. Single Gene follow patterns of inheritance within families. Multifactorial are a result of genetic factors and environmental factors. Mitochondria are inherited from the mother's egg, the female only transmits the trait to offspring; however, she will pass it on to her offspring (University of Vermont, n.d.).
Alzheimer's disease is a very complex disease researchers have not found a specific cure for the prevention of the disease. Researchers focus on treatments to help maintain mental function, manage behavioral symptoms, and slow the development of the disease. Alzheimer's disease has no treatment or medications to stop the disease but researchers have found medications to treat the disease. According to National Institute on Aging (2010), People who have mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease can take donepezil (Aricept®), rivastigmine (Exelon®), or galantamine (Razadyne®). Moderate to severe Alzheimer's is treated with memantine (Namenda®); severe Alzheimer's is treated with Donepezil. These medications are not made to stop completely or reverse the disease but will help the patients for a few months to a few years (National Institute on Aging, 2010). Alternative medications have no known research whether they work or not. The best alternative medicine is not medicine. People with early stages or developing Alzheimer's disease in their family should take better care of themselves by having a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating habits; plenty of exercise, mind exercises, good sleep habits, keeping a normal weight, and not smoke, low doses of antioxidants could be helpful in preventing or reducing the risk of the disease.
Alzheimer's disease does not affect anyone certain culture, it can happen to anyone. Because...

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