The Essentials Of Alzheimer's Disease

1436 Words 6 Pages
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…
According to Carol Porth, the author of Essentials of Pathophysiology, this “…disorder affects more than 5.2 million Americans, and is the sixth leading cause of death” (948). Aside from the general stages and symptoms of Alzheimer 's, this disease, however, can affect each person differently. Alzheimer’s disease is one of few types of dementia that is categorized by the presence of amyloid proteins, senile plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles that cause dysfunction and degeneration of neural pathways in the brain, resulting in loss of neurons and death of tissue (Porth, 949). These neurological complications can directly impair the memory, thought, movement, and emotions of a …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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