The Devastating Effects of Alzheimer's Disease

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We've all had those moments where we forget where we've just put our keys, or walk into a room just to forget why we went in there in the first place. These forgetful moments are a normal part of everyday life. But what if your brain constantly committed these memory "slip ups"? What if you could never remember where you put your keys? Or be unable to remember the face of a family member.

That is the reality for a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a form of dementia, and is characterized by memory loss, severe changes in emotional behavior or personality, changes to thinking and judgment, and eventual language loss.

AD is caused by the build up of plaques and tangles in the brain. These structures cause the brain cells to slowly die off. It is also believed that patients with AD have a deficiency in the levels of some vital brain chemicals which are involved with neurotransmitters.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for AD. Drugs do exist that are believe to help slow the progression of AD but the most common treatment is helping to cope with the effects of the disease. To prevent Alzheimer's disease, it is recommended that adults stay mentally and socially active, eat a low fat, high protein diet and have a healthy blood pressure.

My boyfriend's grandmother suffers from this disease, and I have seen how devastating it is for people who suffer from it and their families. Watching a loved one slowly lose mental function, the ability to speak, and there memory is a terrible experience. Our best hope is that one day a cure will be found, so that no one else will have to suffer from Alzheimer's disease.


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Very informative. AD is truly a sad disease, and I have also witnessed some close family members experience it, or dementia, which is a different form of it, I believe.
At any rate, I agree it's definitely important to stay healthy, but I am hopefully there could some day be a medicine to help with the symptoms of AD.

I enjoyed reading this. I've often wondered what actually happens with AD that causes the memory loss so it was interesting to find out more about that. I can't imagine how frustrating it must be to not be able to remember things. Hopefully a cure is coming soon.

This was very interesting. It is very strange how one can begin to forget things without a way to remember. I also cannot imagine what it would be like to have a family member suffering from this disease. I hope that a cure will be discovered in the very near future.

My grandmother has AD and it is true that the drugs nowadays help slow it down. My family and I see a marked difference in my grandmother and her memory from when she wasn't taking medicine to now, when she is medicated. It makes a HUGE difference. Before she was diagnosed, she was always repeating herself and often couldn't recall something that we had just told her. Now, with the help of her medications, her memory functions have improved and she can remember a conversation you had with her the last time you saw her. I hope a cure can be found soon but for now, what does exist makes a difference.

Useful post. AD is a horrible disease and the old are likely to get it. I know medicine can't cure AD but just assist people feel better. I witness my grandparents often forget something. That's really painful. I hope one day scientists can find one way to cure AD.

This is one of the reasons I became so interested in neuroscience and psychology. While other diseases and disorders are very sad, I don't know if there could be anything worse than losing control of your own body and mind. Neurological disorders are truly horrific. I hope that soon there will be some breakthrough cures for people afflicted with this.

This is such an informative post. Great synopsis of AD! This is an issue that our generation is bound to become much more familiar with, as we are soon going to be caring for the aging baby boomer generation (see links below). It is so important that we continue searching for a cure for this disease. Great post, and thanks for sharing!

AD is probably the thing that scares me the most out of all of the psychological disorders. Not being able to recognize your own family members and forgetting where you are sounds unbearable. I think the scariest thing is that we still don't know that much about it. We don't know what causes it and there is no cure for it. This is definetely a problem that our generation is going to deal with a lot and I look forward to learning more about it through future research.

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This page contains a single entry by robe0926 published on March 20, 2012 4:31 PM.

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