Alzheimer's Disease What isAlzheimer's Disease Essay, Research Paper What is Alzheimer's disease? Alzheimer's is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that attacks the brain. Nerve cells in the memory areas of the brain die at an accelerated rate. Memory loss, indifferent attitude, the deterioration of language, and impaired visual spatial skills characterize Alzheimer's disease, but motor function is not lost. Dr. Alois Alzheimer first recognized Alzheimer's disease in the early 1900's. He was a physician practicing in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany and had come across a 51-year-old woman experiencing severe memory problems, confusion, and difficulty understanding questions.
After years of suffering the woman died. Upon her death, Dr. Alois Alzheimer performed an autopsy on her brain and found dense deposits outside and around the nerve cells (neuritic plaques). Inside the nerve cells he also noted the presence of twisted bands of fibers (neurofibrillary tangles). It was his Emil Kraepelin, Alois Alzheimer's mentor who first used the term "Alzheimer's Disease'.
Most cases of Alzheimer's disease occur in individuals aged 65 and over. About 1-10% of people can develop symptoms as early as in their thirties. Eventually the victim will require almost constant attention. Alzheimer's disease slowly robs individuals of their dignity, livelihood, and savings.
Because of the great impact Alzheimer's has, it also affects not the patient's family members. Family members begin to feel powerless as they watch their parent, grandparent, or other relative slowly fade away. Family members also suffer from the fear that this disease too will take them. Alzheimer's disease is a hereditary disorder in which nerve cells in the brain, called neurons, die making it difficult for the brain to work properly. Neuron cells begin to die many years even before the onset of memory loss or other symptoms of the disease show up. So, the.