Alzheimer’s Disease By: Nora Teen Health 8 Period 1
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease? • Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, irreversible disease in which the brain cells deteriorate. This commonly leads to severe dementia.
What causes Alzheimer’s? • Scientists still do not know what causes Alzheimer's Disease. • Some risk factors may be: • Heredity • Age
Statistics • About 4 million people in America are thought to have the disease. • 14 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s by the middle of the next century unless a cure or prevention is found. • One in 10 people over 65 and nearly half of those over 85 have Alzheimer’s disease. • A small percentage of people in their 30s and 40s develop the disease. • A person with Alzheimer’s lives an average of 8 years and as many as 20 years or more from the onset of symptoms.
Symptoms • Memory loss • Difficulty performing familiar tasks • Problems with abstract thinking. • Problems with language • Poor judgment • Difficulty with time and place • Mood swings • Personality changes
Prognosis • Alzheimer’s disease causes the formation of abnormal structures in the brain called plaques and tangles. As they build up in affected individuals, nerve cells connections are reduced. Areas of the brain that influence short-term memory tend to be affected first. Later, the disease works its way into sections that control other intellectual and physical functions. • Alzheimer’s disease affects people in different ways, making it difficult for medical professionals to predict how an individual’s disease will progress. Some experts classify the disease by stage (early, middle and late). But specific behaviors and how long they last vary greatly, even within each stage of the disease.
Current Research • There is no known cure or the disease, but scientists are still looking for a way to prevent and cure the disease • Doctors can delay the onset of the disease through existing treatments, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidants, or hormone replacement therapy.
Personal Story • Former president Ronald Reagan is one of the many people that suffer from Alzheimer's disease. • Alzheimer's disease has prevented President Ronald Reagan from speaking. In addition, as Reagan passes from moderate to severe Alzheimer's, he no longer knows the names of family members, even his wife.
Things to remember... • Alzheimer’s disease affects your memory • Alzheimer’s makes it hard and sometimes impossible for you to take care of yourself • There is no cure for the disease • It is not known what causes the disease
Sources: • www.alz.org • www.whitehouse.org • www.Alzheimers.com • www.alzheimers.org