“Alzheimer's disease is one of the diseases which present a picture called "dementia" which includes confusion, memory loss and possible personality change. It is a progressive, irreversible disease which attacks brain cells and kills them. It accounts for 68% of all dementia cases” (Alzheimer’s Outreach). The average time of life expectancy among those who have got the illness is between five and ten years, despite nowadays many patients survive fifteen years or more due to the improvements in the attention and medical treatment. The cure of Alzheimer has not been discovered yet, but there is a palliative therapy. But, is a “dementia” a cause for non-live your life?.
“Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder, afflicting 10% of the population over the age of 65 and 50% of the population over the age of 85 … is characterized in patients by an inexorably progressing dementia. In vulnerable brain regions, such as the hippocampus and cortex, there is an accumulation of extracellular neuritic plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles.” (Zhang 124).
As brain cells die, the substance of the brain shrinks or "atrophies". Abnormal material called "tangles" builds up in the centre of the brain cells and plaques outside the brain cells, disrupting messages within the brain and preventing the memory, for example, from recalling information. Memory of recent events is the first to be affected, but as the disease spreads, long-term memory is also lost. The disease also affects many of the brain's other functions and consequently, many other aspects of behavior are disturbed.
At this time, we do not yet know what causes Alzheimer Disease or how to stop its progression. Researchers have discovered that Alzheimer Disease is not a part of normal aging, affects both men and women and is more common in people as they age-most people with the disease are over 65.
At present there is no proven medical treatment which will cure or slow down the disease; drug therapies to ease the symptoms or slow progression are under active study, although there is no cure, there have been many advances in support services for those with Alzheimer's disease and their careers.
People who have Alzheimer's disease differ in the pattern of problems they have and the speed with which they become worse. The person's abilities may fluctuate to some extent from day to day, or even within the same day. What is certain is that the person with Alzheimer's or another progressive form of dementia will get generally worse. Sometimes a massive decline can occur rapidly over a few months; in other cases it may happen over a number of years. “Is very important an early dementia detection; however, delays often occur between the recognition of signs or symptoms and a decision by the patient or family to seek professional help” (Arai 433).
Following are some of the features seen in some people with different levels of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Not all of these will be present in every person, not every person will go through every phase; some people will show problems not mentioned here. The most severe problems will not necessarily occur with every person with dementia, as people die of other causes, e.g. heart failure, pneumonia, etc., before they reach the most severe phase of dementia.
Mild dementia or Forgetful Phase is one of them; this phase may last from 2 to 4 years. The person may be apathetic, less sparkle, less interested in hobbies activities, unwilling to try new things and unable to adapt to change. Slower to grasp complex ideas and more self-centered; less concerned with others and their feelings and more irritable or upset if they fail at something. More likely to repeat themselves, or forget their line of thought and forgetful of details of recent events.
Moderate Dementia or Confusional Phase is usually the longest phase and may last from 2 to 10 years. The person may need assistance and supervision with tasks. Forget saucepans, kettles; leave stove on. Be very forgetful for recent events, memory for distant past generally seems better, but some details may be forgotten or confused, be neglectful of hygiene or eating; perhaps saying they had a bath or meal when they have not. Rapidly becomes lost if out of familiar surroundings and feel safer at home and avoid visiting places. Become very repetitive, see or hear things that are not there becoming angry, upset or distressed very rapidly. Forget names of friends or family or confuse one family member with another.
In Severe Dementia or final phase, which only ends in death. It can last for 3 or more years. During this phase, the person is severely disabled and requires total care. They may lose ability to understand or use speech, be incontinent , eventually immobility is permanent and in the final weeks or months the person is bedfast. Be aggressive, especially when feeling threatened or closed in, and have difficulty walking, eventually perhaps becoming confined to a wheelchair.
When we talk about Alzheimer, we have to discuss about dementia. People with dementia have memory loss and difficulties with speaking and understanding others. They will have problems with thinking, recognizing people (even family members) and will forget what simple objects are used for (like a knife or fork). For a long time the person may look healthy on the outside, but on the inside their brain is not working properly.
There are several diseases which cause dementia. We hear more about Alzheimer's disease because it is the most common cause of dementia. Dementia is not a mental illness. It is a disease of the brain. Our brain is our control centre and everything we do and say and think is controlled by our brain. When the brain is sick, we have problems with all our actions (remembering, speaking, understanding, learning new skills, walking, etc).
Losing the ability to communicate can be one of the most frustrating and difficult problems for people with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias which affect language. As the disease progresses, the person experiences a gradual lessening of their ability to communicate. They find it more and more difficult to express themselves clearly and take in what is being said, and find it an increasing struggle to understand what the person with dementia is feeling or trying to say.
Unfortunately there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Over time, the disease only gets worse. It is the fourth biggest cause of death in older people. We don't yet know how to cure Alzheimer Disease. But there are several medicines to try to slow down the process of the illness.
I do not have a conclusion yet. I am working on it. Every letter is a minute, every minute is a memory to remember and every memory counts in life…
The residue means long-term memories. The pencil draws the moments of joy and the eraser means short-term memory.
My thesis will be focuses on Alzheimer's disease, but the conclusion I will be searching is imply that each moment of joy in life counts, and that is helpful for those who have this dementia.
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