The Pathology Of Alzheimer's Disease

Superior Essays
I witnessed this disease first hand with my grandmother. I was too young to understand what she was experiencing or why she did the things she did. All I knew is that grandma would get confused and sometimes forget things. As a kid, I just wanted to help my grandma as she has helped me. The more I learn about this disease, the better understanding I have of the changes that my grandmother went through. Despite that this disease can rob people of their very self and abilities, I believe that these people should not be valued any less. I think there is a need for research in this area, as it has affected and will continue to affect countless lives. Research is critical in order better understand, prevent, and treat this disease. In the meantime, …show more content…
explain, the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease being a “...multifactorial disease in which environmental factors and genetic predisposition contribute to the pathology” (1). Since Alzheimer’s is a multifactorial disease there are several theorized causes for it, a few being genes, hypercholesterolemia, hyperhomocysteinemia, hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and gastrointestinal microbiota (Mendiola-Precoma et al., 3-6). Specific genes are theorized to be significant indicators of Alzheimer’s. Experts Mendiola-Precoma et al. claim that certain gene mutations could predispose one to Alzheimer’s disease, specifically three being, “... (a) the amyloid precursor (APP) gene on chromosome 21, (b) presenilin 1 (PSEN-1) gene on chromosome 14, and (c) presenilin 2 (PSEN-2) gene on chromosome 1” (1). Genetic factors, as well as diseases, could be large contributors to predisposing one to Alzheimer’s however, it is generally much more complex than that and still requires much …show more content…
At each stage of this disease, different symptoms present themselves according to the areas affected in the brain. Porth explains, “The initial changes are often subtle, characterized by a short-term memory loss that often is difficult to differentiate from the normal memory loss that often occurs in the elderly...” (950). This could make it difficult to accurately diagnose and treat early on. The next stage of Alzheimer 's is called the moderate stage (Porth, 950). The moderate stage of Alzheimer 's is characterized by loss of higher cognitive functions, changes in levels of independence with normal activities of daily living, and changes in behavior (Porth, 950). Porth explains that the moderate stage of Alzheimer’s could last for several years (950). Despite this, Alzheimer’s disease can affect people differently, resulting in having an unpredictable rate of cognitive and physical decline. Generally, at this stage of Alzheimer’s, manifestations become much more apparent to others around them. Lastly, the final stage of this disease is called severe Alzheimer’s (Porth, 950). Severe Alzheimer’s “... is characterized by a loss of ability to respond to the environment” (Porth, 950). Every stage of this disease slowly robs pieces of each

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