Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for about 60%-80% of all dementia cases, and the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. It is a brain disorder known to destroy a person’s reasoning, thinking, and memory. They could also lose the ability to complete the simplest daily tasks (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). Its severity is mildest when an individual starts to lose cognitive functioning and severe when they are entirely dependent on others for essential help with basic daily living activities. The older population, mainly elders aged 65 or above, are more vulnerable to experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s dementia. The disease is named Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who experienced an unusual mental illness in a woman in 1906. Upon the patient’s death, Dr. Alzheimer examined her brain, where she noticed several tangled bundles of fibers and abnormal clumps. The patient had symptoms such as unpredicted behavior, language problems, and memory loss (National Institute on Aging, 2021).
Alzheimer’s illness mainly affects the brain’s entorhinal cortex and hippocampus, critical in memory formation. The continuous death of neurons causes more parts of the brain to shrink. The last stage of the disease involves a significant shrinking of the brain tissue, characterized by greater memory loss. Common symptoms of the disease during the first stages include the reduction in non-memory cognitive aspects, such as impaired reasoning, vision or spatial issues, and word- finding. The moderate stage of Alzheimer’s disease involves damage to the brain parts controlling sensory processing, conscious thought, reasoning, and language (National Institute on Aging, 2021). I chose to discuss this disease because it is a common form of illness affecting a significant population of the U.S. and the globe. It is also among the top ten leading causes of death in the
U.S. Several families have loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, making it a crucial
cause for concern. Proper awareness is necessary to educate families on managing patients with Alzheimer’s disease (CDC, 2020).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, October 26). What is Alzheimer’s disease?
National Institute on Aging. (2021, July 8). Alzheimer’s disease fact sheet. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet
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