Alzheimer's Disease: a hopeless battle? Essay

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Alzheimer's Disease: a hopeless battle?

We all occasionally unintentionally forget to take out the garbage, brush our teeth, or the name of a person we have just met; and we eventually realize either instantaneously or slightly later that we have forgotten and, make sure to go back and take the garbage out, brush our teeth extra clean the following day and ask for that person's name again. This thought process occurs in our brain, a very complex organ that allows us to think and remember these routinely habits. As we get older, our body changes the same way our brain does; we start to forget on a more frequent basis and have more trouble remembering. This is a normal phenomenon in an aging person. However, many elderly people forget
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The first abnormality occurs when enzymes, "a substance that causes chemical reactions" (4), cut a brain protein (amyloid precursor protein) into smaller fragments that are made up of another protein called beta-amyloid. These beta-amyloid fragments then stick together and form Alzheimer plaques. In addition to the plaques, a protein called tau, "which helps support [nerve] cell structure" (10) tangles and leads to the death of a cell. These are the two main causes that have reoccurred in many patients suffering from Alzheimer's, but researchers have yet to find what initiates this process.

There are different stages at which Alzheimer's progresses. The first stage affects the memory, but is too close to the normal aging symptom to determine whether or not it is the early stage of Alzheimer's. At the second stage, there is an increase in memory loss, as well as disorientation, changes in behavior and difficulty in handling daily chores. By the third stage, the patient is not only affected mentally but also physically: the ability to recognize, speak, and learn is now also affected and there is difficulty in getting up and controlling impulses. Anxiety is also a common trait as the patient The last stage is the most severe, where the patient is both mentally and physically impaired.

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