Background Information First described by Alois Alzheimer in 1906 Most common form of Dementia German Psychiatrist and Neuropathologist
Facts & Figures A progressive, degenerative, and fatal. Most often diagnosed in people 65 and older Approximate life expectancy is 7 years post diagnosis About 3% of diagnosed make it 14 or more years Early symptoms are often mistake for “age-related” concerns No cure for this disease One of the MOST costly diseases in today’s society! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In1IJocVor8
Signs and Symptoms Confusion or difficulty remembering recent events Irritability with aggression Mood swings Trouble with words and language Long-term memory loss Eventual loss of body function and control Resulting in death ALL SYMPTOMS CAUSE THE AFFECTED PERSON TO WITHDRAW FROM FAMILY AND SOCIETY.
Progression of Alzheimer’s: Pre-Dementia Experience problems with executive functions of attention. The symptoms are associated with aging/stress since they most often affect Daily Living Activities. Forget whole experiences Never can recall forgotten information Lose ability to follow instructions Find less benefit in/from memory aides such as notes and lists
Progression of Alzheimer’s: Early Stages Experience problems with language (shrinking vocabulary) and more executive functions Problem with perception and movement Memory becomes further affected in the episodic, semantic, and implict Affected person may require assistance/supervision with the more demanding activities.
Progression of Alzheimer’s: Moderate Stage Memory problems continue to worsen. Long-term memory becomes impaired Behavioral & neuropsychiatric changes are prevalent now. Recognizable by wandering, irritability, outbursts of aggression, and language issues Affected person will fail to recognize family and close relatives
Progression of Alzheimer’s: Advanced Stage Language becomes single words or is gone completely. Affected person experiences extreme apathy and exhausted. Becomes completely bedridden due to complete loss of muscle mass and mobility. Affected person is COMPLETELY dependent on others for help.
Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease The presence of two specific anatomic abnormalities: Plaques: deposits of proteins called Beta-Amyloids Tangles: twisted fibers of Tau proteins Researchers believe a deterioration of cell bodies, dendrites, and axons takes place. Disrupts/blocks communication among nerve cells • Overall result = Gross atrophy of cells and surrounding regions.
Treatment Only known treatment currently is cholinergic drugs: an enzyme blocker that works by restoring the balance of natural substances (neurotransmitters) in the brain • Tacrine • Donepezil • Rivastigmine • Galantemine
EBSCO Article Since Alzheimer’s is characterized by memory loss, was speculated that different patterns of repetition would show this too. Found that an increasing amount of physical information was needed – bottom up processes. End result was that the longer the lag time between picture and answer, the more information was forgotten.
Bibliography “Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet.” National Institutes of Health: National Institutes on Aging. 27 June 2012. 8 Aug. 2012. <http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/ publication/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet> “What is Alzheimer’s?.” Alzheimer’s Association. 8 Aug. 2012. <http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp> Viggiano, M. Galli, G., Righi, S. Brancati, C. “Visual Recognition Memory in Alzheimer’s Disease: Repetition-Lag Effect.” Experimental Aging Research. 2008. EBSCO. 1 Aug. 2012.