Alzheimer's Disease

Sydney Barshick

What is Alzheimer's Disease?

Alzheimer's Disease is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. This disorder affects mostly the brain and nervous system. This disease fits into the genetic disorder category "single gene mutation". The picture on the right shows a human brain with Alzheimer's and labels the certain parts this disease affects.
What is Alzheimer's disease? - Ivan Seah Yu Jun

Additional Information

Alzheimer's disease is a dominant trait and located on the gene Apolipoprotein (APOE) and on the following chromosomes 1,14, and 21. This disease averages to appear in people's mid 60's and is classified as the most common cause of dementia (dementia is a persistent disorder of the mental process) among older adults. Most likely Alzheimer's is going to occur in certain age groups, and past family history may be a sign as to why you might have Alzheimer's disease. The most commonly asked question asked is why risk rises so dramatically as we grow older. But till this day doctors have made multiple conclusions, but they do not know for certain as to what causes this recurring disease. Compared to a healthy developed brain an Alzheimer's brain is scrawny and filled with amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. The picture on the right compares half of a healthy brain to a one with Alzheimer's.

Diagnostic Tests Preformed

There are few tests that can be performed to determine if an individual has this disease. Some tests include past health history, mental status tests, standard medical tests, and brain imaging scans. Most likely a healthcare provider will do thorough exams of a person's nervous system. Down below a normal brain next to one with Alzheimer's are being scanned in one of multiple tests.
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Is there any way to prevent this disorder?

There is no way to prevent Alzheimer's from stopping or from affecting you. Also, no treatments are available to reverse the changes or behaviors Alzheimer's has the ability to give to an individual. But now there is some hope, medicines are being studied in clinical trials to help slow the progression down, others may help in the early stages in this disease.

Supports Groups & Organizations

There are many organizations/ support groups out there that currently are in existence that help others with the struggles they face due to this disease. Some societies include Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer Disease Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh, Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers National Institute, John Hopkins Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, etc. These groups provide constructive and guidance for those living with this condition. The official Alzheimer's Association logo is being shown below. The official Alzheimer's Association says their logo represents, "A visual symbol of our dual mission people and science and a commitment that guides us in our daily work in research, advocacy, education, and support."
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