Alzheimer’s- Your Brain Is Shrinking!!!

I have always kind of thought about this topic. The reason for that is the fact that Alzheimer’s runs in my family. My grandma’s mother was affected by this disease which eventually lead to her death. This disease made her forgetful and did not even know my dad’s name at some points. Of course she eventually became violent and angry, but she was not like this all the time. Another event in my life that made me interested in this topic was when I heard a speech about Alzheimer’s at a speech meet. The way that the character was trying to persuade people to realize that she was not a lost cause was inspiring.

The development of Alzheimer’s can occur in anyone. Although it is more common in those 65 and older. Gender is also not a determining factor if and when you inherit this illness. Trying to tell when a person has started to acquire Alzheimer’s is difficult. “Since the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease develop gradually, the exact onset of the condition may be difficult to identify” (Whitehouse 1). As the illness continues to worsen these symptoms will manifest and become more apparent. The disease of Alzheimer’s breaks down plaques in the brain. Alzheimer’s has different forms as well. Another form of Alzheimer’s is dementia. The exact development of Alzheimer’s is uncertain, but research is being done.

Alzheimer’s does not only affect the patient, it also affects family. Alzheimer’s is not a quick deterioration in health. “The gradually declines over a period of five to ten years” (Whitehouse 1). As the patient loses memory and other cognitive functions the family becomes greatly affected. “Legal and financial issues often become complicated when an individual is no longer competent to manage his or her own affairs.” (Whitehouse 1). Obviously, this neurological illness will affect the brain. The disease involves shrinkage of the brain in specific parts. Sadly, all of these effects will eventually lead to death.

Although there is no 100%  cure for this illness, there are still an abundance of treatment and therapy options out there. Having accurate ways of diagnosing Alzheimer’s is greatly important.  As new medications become available treatments will become more effective. There are medications available to treat the effects of this illness.  A medication called, “galantamine works by interfering with the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter” (Alzheimer’s 1). Depression can occur from Alzheimer’s, this depression can be treated with medication. With all the treatments and medications available doctors might be close to finding a cure.

When my grandma’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s consequently treatment was not as effective as it is now. If the technologies we have now were available then, she may have lived longer. This topic was great for me to research due to the fact that I’m already fairly knowledgeable on this topic, and I could one day be a victim of Alzheimer’s disease.

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