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Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease, its causes and cures, has long remained a mystery to medical practitioners. However, the efforts of researchers are beginning to reveal clues that may soon enable physicians to prescribe medications and other forms of treatment that will successfully delay the onset of the disease and may even reverse the course of the illness. Yet for the four million Americans currently diagnosed with the disease, future treatments are irrelevant. Fortunately, there are some effective options currently available that can treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's and/or slow its progression. If caught early enough, the patient can gain valuable time that they may have had the diagnosis been made at a later stage during the disease=s development. Unfortunately, because the symptoms can often be so easily masked, this does not happen as often as it could.

Alzheimer's is characterized by a progressive loss of memory and deterioration in other mental faculties. It typically occurs in people over age sixty-five, though it may be diagnosed in those as young as forty. Sufferers undergo increasing confusion and disorientation with regard to time and location; experience difficulty completing routine tasks, such as balancing checkbooks; and develop language problems, often unable to find the right words to express their thoughts. Many times the early signs are attributed to the normal course of aging. Studies have shown that someone in their forties has poorer short-term memory than someone who is twenty-five; and those above sixty-five score even more poorly.

As a result of these inexplicable lapses, patients often develop psychological and/or behavioral problems that may serve as defense mechanisms. These can be evidenced by emotional withdrawal, combativeness, paranoia, personality changes, mood disturbances, resistiveness, and agitation. Additional symptoms that may be a direct result of memory loss or result from the damag...

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Alzheimer's disease. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:12, April 21, 2019, from