ALZHEIMER’S DISEASEAlzheimer’s disease is a progressive, permanent brain illness that gradually destroys a person’s memory and intellectual capabilities. Eventually the individual’s capacity to perform any simple duty. In many cases, the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are first seen in their mid-60s, and early-70s (Anand, 2011). Currently, it is estimated that more than 5 million Americans (diagnosed and undiagnosed) are living with some form of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease is the 3thleading cause of death in elderlies in the United States of America, right after heart diseases and cancer (Anand, 2011). Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia in older adults. Dementia is the loss of rational reasoning, thinking ability, memorizing, and behavioral capabilities (Ballard, & Gauthier, 2013).
PATHOPHYSIOLOGY OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASEAlzheimer’s is considered the disease of the brain.The disease was named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who, in the beginning of the 20thcentury, discovered changes in the brain tissues of a patient who died of mental illness. Autopsy reveals presence of plaques and tangled bundles of fibers in the brain. The main characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease are still the plaques and tangles seen in the brain of the Alzheimer’s patient (Ballard, & Gauthier, 2013).Initially, the damage in the brain starts in the hippocampus, part of the brain involved in memories accumulation. The inability of the individual to remember important life events is usually first sign of mental deficiency associated to Alzheimer’s disease (Bertram, 2015).Historical concept
Pathophysiology (Cont.)One significant characteristic of the illness is the loss of contacts among nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. There are about 100 billion neurons in the brain. Neurons are the media that allow communications among different parts of the brain, and from the brain to different tissues and organs of the human body (Johnson, & Atwal, 2014). Although, not a natural part of the aging process, Alzheimer’s disease remains a illness of older people. Because, as people aged, the brain, Just like the rest of our bodies, changes. Many people ultimately begin noticing signs of sporadic slow down in thinking and trouble recollecting certain aspect of their lives.