Alzheimer's Research Paper

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“Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, and the things you never want to lose." (Arnold, n.d.) Memories are the things we uphold. Whether they are good or bad, those memories are engraved in us and can't be stolen from us. However, what if as time goes by, and we age, those memories start to fade or are forgotten? Losing your language skills, ability to recognize a familiar face and feel a sense of depression. Alzheimer's disease is one of the most common and feared diseases afflicting the elderly community. "Alzheimer's is a progressive disease of the human brain that is characterized by impairment of memory and disturbance in at least one other thinking function" (Clark, Clarke & Richards,
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It occurs when neurons in the brain die, or their connections with other neurons break. This occurs because people with Alzheimer's disease experience atrophy of a part of the brain called the hippocampus. "The Hippocampus produces a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This chemical carries electrical signals from one neuron to another and is essential for memory, judgment and learning. In people with Alzheimer's disease, the cells that produce acetylcholine are damaged or killed, and levels of the chemical gradually decline in the brain. This means that the electrical signals are not efficiently transmitted from one neuron to another, causing the breakdown of neuron connections and the gradual atrophy of other parts of the brain" (Foster, …show more content…
Memory can be categorized in two ways: short-term memory and long-term memory. "Short-term memory is the ability to remember events that occurred a short time ago or recall things that were recently learned, such as a person's telephone number or the name of a restaurant. Short-term memories are stored in the temporal lobe in the brain, which is the first part of the brain to be affected by Alzheimer's disease. Long-term memory is the ability to remember events that happened in the past or recall things that occurred earlier in life. Long-term memory is stored in both the temporal and parietal lobes of the brain. These memories are usually lost in later stages of the disease"(Document 1439932, n.d.)."As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, people experience greater memory loss and other cognitive difficulties. Problems can include wandering and getting lost, trouble handling money and paying bills, repeating questions, taking longer to complete normal daily tasks, and personality and behaviour changes. People are often diagnosed at this stage"(Alzheimer's Disease Fact Sheet, n.d.). Loss of the ability to use and understand the language. This is usually the result of neuron damage to the left side of the brain, which is associated with "reasoning, sensory processing, and conscious thought...They may be unable to learn new things, carry out multistep tasks such as getting dressed or cope with new situations"

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