Alzheimer's Disease and its Link to the Normal Human Developmental Process of Aging
Angel M. Perez
The cause of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is currently unknown. However, extensive studies using new technology has led to new ways of accurately identifying AD, an understanding of the mechanisms involved regarding the development of AD, and the damage it causes in the human brain. The general population is under the impression that AD is a result of the normal human developmental process of aging. The focus of this research is to dismiss this misconception by providing indisputable empirical evidence to the contrary. This paper looks at the various studies ...view middle of the document...
, et al., 2004). Current studies also show that there is explicit life style, environmental, and genetic risk factors attributed to the development of AD (Van Duijn, C., et al., 1994). It is also essential to note the emotional, psychological, and psychosocial effects that accompany AD. Alzheimer’s disease degrades the individual’s ability to interact socially, and it affects the individual’s emotional and psychological state, but it also has profound effects upon the individual’s intimate friends and family (Blieszner & Shifflett, 1990; Montgomary, 1999). This is not a topic for discussion in this paper, but one should be aware that the effects of AD extend well beyond the patient. We will define what Alzheimer’s disease is. We will identify the risk factors associated with AD. We will explore the damage to neurons in the brain caused by AD at a cellular level, and we will examine new technology useful for accurate early detection, diagnosis, and prognosis of AD. We will also provide data showing a population under the age of 60 suffering from AD, and a population over the age of 60 showing no evidence of AD at any stage. It is the intent of the paper to supply empirical data showing that AD is not part of the normal process of aging. As a result, this information will serve to provide a clear understanding of the correlation between AD and the normal aging process, and inspire new avenues of research.
Alzheimer’s Disease, Associated Risk Factors and Cerebral Effects
The National Institute on Aging informs us that Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible and progressive brain disease, slowly destroying memory, thinking skills, and faculty to carry out the simplest tasks of daily living (2013). According to the NIA, “In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear after age 60” (http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet). Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia among older people” (http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/topics/alzheimers-basics). The disease is named after the individual credited with discovering the disease, Dr. Alois Alzheimer. Until recently, progress in researching AD has been slow due to the nature of the beast.
Although significant strides have been made towards the development of a cure, to date the cure continues to elude us. However, there are treatments that slow down the advancement of AD and help manage some of the symptoms in some patients. There are also new findings offering high expectations. One may wonder why a cure for AD has not been developed yet, as with other diseases such as cancer. Some of the obstacles may include the lack of the proper technology, lack of finances, and the lack of knowledge in the field. There is also another obstacle rarely discussed in academia. This obstacle is the FDA. The FDA is one of the most corrupt regulatory government agencies in the United States. Jon Entine, an American journalist, consultant and an author, is the...