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A01 - Alzheimer's

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Introduction

Alzheimer's disease Alzheimer's disease was first recognised by a German neurologist Alois Alzheimer and as you must have noticed the condition is also named after him. Alzheimer's disease is a physical condition which affects the brain. This disease affects the brain by slowly damaging the nerve cells in all the components of the brain and various surrounding structures of the brain. These dysfunctions would then impair the abilities of a person to govern their emotions, to identify mistakes and patterns, co ordinate movement and remember. Eventually a person who has Alzheimer's disease loses the entire memory and mental performance. Below is the structure of the brain, to give an idea of the major areas of the brain and the many functions they have; http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_alzheimers_disease_000002_1.htm Firstly I would like to explain what the cause of this disease is. Till date scientists are not entirely sure what causes Alzheimer's disease. ...read more.

Middle

One theory is that they block nerve cells which restrict the communication between the nerve cells and it would eventually make it difficult for the cells to survive. Through autopsies it has come know that many people develop some plaques and tangles as they age, but people with Alzheimer's disease develop a great deal more than people who don't have this disease. Scientists are still researching why many people develop so much in comparison to others. On the contrary there have been many risk factors discovered for Alzheimer's disease. Firstly age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. As age increases it becomes more of a risk factor. One out of eight people above the age 65 has Alzheimer's disease and nearly one out of two people above the age 85 have Alzheimer's. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer's virtually doubles every 5 years after the age of 65. ...read more.

Conclusion

Furthermore lifestyle factors can also influence the chance of developing Alzheimer's. Firstly if a person has had a serious head injury, the chances of developing Alzheimer's in the future is high. This would mean people need to adapt to safety measures to prevent this for example wearing seat belts or not engaging in activities that involves a great risk of falling are at an advantage. Moreover staying healthy by exercising frequently and maintaining a healthy diet reduces the risk. Also it is important to keep away from tobacco, decrease the consumption of alcohol, keeping socially active and finally engaging into activities that are intellectually stimulating is known to have a protective effect against Alzheimer's disease. In addition, there is a strong connection between the hearts health and the brains health. Individuals who don't have any heart related disease or condition have a less chance of developing Alzheimer's. This is because the vascular system is responsible of delivering blood to the brain and if this isn't happening properly it affects the brain. ...read more.

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