Alzheimer's Disease

What is it?

Brief Overview

Alzheimer's Disease is a terrible illness that causes many problems and usually leads to other fatal problems. The cause is plaque build up within the brain that interrupts the signals our brains send throughout to help our cognitive and biological reactions. Due to the slow build up, our brains begin to become unresponsive and unable to retain memories. The brain literally begins to shrink and lost connections leads to other severe problems.

You may be wondering: who is affected by this disease? One in ten people will be diagnosed over 65 years old. That number grows to almost half of people once they reach 85 years old. The disease is thought to be genetic, and those with a family history of Alzheimer's are more likely to be diagnosed.

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Normal Brain vs. Brain affected by Alzheimer's Disease

As you can see above, a brain affected by Alzheimer's Disease is very small, with an appearance of illness. In comparison to a healthy, normal brain, it is very clear the biological deconstruction that is caused by this illness. Because of the degeneration of the brain, the behavior of the sick person is affected. This supports the third level of analysis that states, "cognitive, emotions and behaviors are products of the anatomy and physiology of our nervous and endocrine systems."


  • Problems with speech
  • Disorientation(including easily getting lost)
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of motivation
  • Not managing self care
  • Behavioral issues
  • Withdraw from family and friends.

Treatment Methods

There is no cure for Alzheimer's. However, some treatments can help slow down the process or ease the difficulty for patients and caregivers.

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

  • Alternative therapies

  • Sensory therapies

  • Vitamin E

  • There are four medicines used to maintain mental function: Donepezil (Aricept®), rivastigmine (Exelon®), galantamine (Razadyne®), and Memantine (Namenda®)

Let's get real.

I had a neighbor a few years ago who suffered from Alzheimer's. I remember when she first started showing signs. I was at her house with my cousin and she took us out for a walk. On the way, she stopped for a minute. She was unable to remember how to get home from our path. Eventually, we got back and she made us promise to keep that to ourselves. We were young and didn't understand why she was so keen on not letting anyone know. Months later, I was playing outside and she came speeding up the road in her huge truck. I live on a dirt road that you really shouldn't drive over 15 miles per hour on. She was going at least 30. When confronted by her daughter on why she was driving so fast, she got extremely angry and defensive. Soon after that, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and had her keys taken away. She got angry and frustrated all the time and refused to use help or even talk to anyone. Her daughter took care of her until she passed. I remember hearing stories about her hiding things around the house and used the bathroom in wrong places.

Alzheimer's is a terrible disease that destroys the brain and personality of those infected by it. There is no cure to Alzheimer's which supports the first cognitive level of analysis that states, "Mental processes can and should be studied scientifically". They must continue to search for a cure in order to stop this terrible disease.