Alzheimer is a disease that results from accumulation of beta-amyloid which is a type of protein normally found in the brain of human beings. According to research when there is an increase in production of this specific protein, the nerve cells in the brain die instantly.
It is also recorded by many researchers that there are particular genes that are known to have an increased chance of making an individual to develop the disease, an example of such genes is the gene that predetermines apolipoprotein E that is usually known as the apoE that occur in three forms that is the apoE2, apoE3 and the apoE4 whereby, we find that the apoE4 gene is usually related to the causes of the Alzheimer’s disease in many patients. Studies indicate that among the population we find that an individual with the apoE4 has a high risk of getting the disease.
(Munoz and Feldman, 2000) The History of Alzheimers Research indicates that the disease was first identified by a Germany doctor named Alois Alzheimer in the year 1901 thus the name of the disease. In the twentieth century it is indicated that only people who were 45 years and 65 years were diagnosed for the disease. Those found to have signs of Senile Dementia were seen to be normal as the dementia was taken as a result of normal aging. In 1980s the name Alzheimer disease was used to refer to individuals with Senile Dementia.
Finally, the term Alzheimer disease became formal and was adopted by the existing medical nomenclature (Prince and Brayne 2005) The chances of having this disease usually increase at older age especially at over 60 years of age. Women are reported to be at a higher risk of contracting the disease since women are said to be having a longer life expectancy than men. However, experts warn that the occurrence of this disease does not come automatically as part of old age that happen in life later on.
The other factor leading to this disease is the association of causing agents of the disease with other diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and other blood related diseases. Statistics In this case we find that the disease is among the leading cases of death as from the year 2004, with a record of more than 65,000 deaths in the United States. This disease have affected a number of famous people recorded to have the Alzheimer’s disease examples include the former U. S president Ronald Reagan, Harold Wilson, Iris Murdoch among others. Latest statistics in the U.
S indicates it is among the costly diseases in the country with an estimated annual budget of over 80 billion dollars spent on prevention and treatment. Throughout the world Alzheimer disease has attacked over twenty million people and it is predicted that in the next thirty years this number will increase significantly to over seventy million people. (Maurer, Konrad and Maurer, 2003) Symptoms The early stages of this disease are very sporadic and patients tend to become fatigued and in most cases, the signs may not be noticed even by those members of the family who live with those suffering from the disease.
The first stage is considered mild and is termed as a Minor Cognitive Impairment where the patients do not respond to the normal criteria of diagnosis. After the first stage, the disease enters the moderate stage where it progresses towards a complicated situation. It is here where the patient may still be able to perform typical duties such as taking a bath or cooking. In some complicated tasks, the patients may need assistance from other people such as banking and planning.
The moderate stage develops slowly into the final stage- the late stage, in which the patients lose ability to perform simple tasks independently such as eating, washing or even walking. In some severe cases, some patients may become incontinent of both bladder and bowel. Some people are always disorganized and experience difficulties in communication and later, they become unable to take food and beverages comfortably. The other symptom of this disorder is anxiety; in this case we find that the patient suffers from anxiety that is normally associated with increased misunderstanding and the impairment of the person’s memory.
There is also the case of lack of sleep that is normally referred to as insomnia that usually appears at a particular stage of the disease. In summary Alzheimer disease has the following admonition signs; loss of memory and inventiveness, complexity in carrying out common everyday duties, speech problems, confusion of timing and places, alteration in character, thinking problems, poor decision making, conduct changes, and disorganization. (Munoz and Feldman, 2000)