Psychology Facts

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By pauchua19
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Alzheimer's Disease

Picture of the brain areas: It is the cortex that makes us human -- our ability to plan, calculate, imagine and create. When the cortex of the brain function normally, it creates a person, someone with a particular pattern of feelings, beliefs, reactions and thoughts, and these transcend the purely physical. A working cortex produces an individual pattern of emotion, aspiration and experience that defines the character and the personality. Unfortunately, it is the cortex, this brain-cell layer half an inch(1.25cm) thick on the surface of the brain, that is most affected by Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disease, or more accurately, a group of disorders that results in impaired memory, thinking and behaviour. It afflicts approximately 4 million Americans and as many as 15 million people worldwide. Research has also shown that Alzheimer's disease is more prevalent among women than among men, and this prevalence increases with age.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, which is not a disease itself but rather a group of symptoms that involve a loss of intellectual function severe enough to interfere with daily activities. Formerly called senility, dementia was once thought to be a normal and almost inevitable accompaniment of aging. Today many doctors and researchers believe that dementia occurs in the elderly only when they are afflicted with specific diseases or disorders. Some of these disorders include nutritional deficiencies, drug reactions, depression, thyroid disorders, and alcoholism. The dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease cannot be reversed, and this ultimately results in a loss of the ability to care for oneself.

The average person with Alzheimer's lives about 8 years beyond the time of the initial diagnosis, with some people living 20 years or more. However…...

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