When I was twelve years old my Grandma Marshall was moved into a nursing home from Sioux City, Iowa to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I did not know at the time but it was the beginning of her demise. She had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and after losing most of her memories and returning to a childlike state she passed only two years later from her disease. In the end she did not even know who I was. Since then I have always been curious about this disease and how it affects others.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. It was first described by Alois Alzheimer as “a strange disease of the cerebral cortex”. Alzheimer’s manifests itself as progressive memory impairment with behavioral and cognitive problems, including suspiciousness (Barlow &Durand 2012). He called it an “atypical form of senile dementia” there after it was referred to as Alzheimer’s disease. The article I read has a much simpler definition, a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.
Whether you read the textbook or any articles on Alzheimer’s one thing is very clear about this debilitating disease of dementia that is progressive over time and affects people generally in the age group of 65 and older, there is no cure! Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. The average time in which a person has to live after being diagnosed is eight years after their symptoms have become noticeable. Survival can range anywhere from four years to twenty (Alzheimer’s Association 2012). Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging even though the greatest risk factor is increasing age. It is a disease of the old but 5% of people between the ages of 40 and 50 have been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s (Alzheimer’s Association 2012). These statistics were also covered in the textbook.
The textbook talks about using brain scans o help determine whether there are changes in brain structure in the early stages of Alzheimer’s....