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Progress of Alzheimer’s disease

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  1. Introduction
  2. The study by Freund-Levi
  3. The research into Alzheimer's disease
  4. The neuropsychological testing
  5. The conclusion and discrepancy with other research
  6. Issues regarding the exact pathology that is implicated in Alzheimer's
  7. The study by Logsdon, McCurry and Teri discussing the prevalence of behavioral changes in Alzheimer's
  8. The barriers of communication
  9. Conclusion
  10. Works cited

Alzheimer's disease is a progressively debilitating condition that occurs in stages, from pre-Alzheimer changes in brain cognitive functioning to late stage deterioration. The disease process includes memory loss, lack of ability to perform formerly easily carried out higher-motor skill activities, and behavioral-cognitive deterioration. The disease process includes dementia as a component, and, may be a mix of genetic, environmental and natural human aging factors. At present there is no cure for the disease, and while there are experimental treatments, their effectiveness is primarily in early stages, forestalling some of the more debilitating aspects of the condition. To date it is not reversible and can often be considered a causative factor in death in a proportion of the elderly. Most people with Alzheimer's may be able to be cared for at home by spouses and other family members, such as adult children, but in the later stages need to be placed in institutional settings because of the high need and demand for care that is out of the abilities of non-professional care-givers. As a disease, it may be characterized by behavioral changes including silence, violent physical and emotional outbursts, and partial to total memory loss, including loss of self-perception. This paper will draw from recent literature to explore the medical-psychological research ongoing into Alzheimer's disease.

[...] (Freund-Levi et al: 167-168) Research into Alzheimer's disease is still in relatively early stages the degree of understanding of the course of the disease is not very thorough, as admitted by the researchers into the condition. There is more known about pre-clinical AD, early AD, and moderate AD than there is known about late-AD, except from observation of the impact of the final stages on the patients. (Mickes et al, 2007) Though Boutet, Milgram and Freedman contended, in their research paper that it is the frontal lobes which are most impacted in early Alzheimer's Mickes et al. [...]

[...] (Giovanetti et al: 455) This paper has demonstrated that research into causes of and progression of Alzheimer's disease is still in very early stages. There is a difference in the research results and hypothesis of early onset causes and progress of deterioration. The area of the brain, the actual pathological changes, observed, is not understood, in terms of the reasons for why changes are happening or the rapidity of the changes. Therefore, while we now think this is an incurable condition, there is always a possibility in time new information will change the way we understand Alzheimer's. [...]

[...] In their study they followed the progress of three patients for three years, from pre-clinical to definitive Alzheimer's diagnosis. Their research indicates that in the pre-clinical phases there is more damage occurring than has previously been thought; and that the damage is in the executive areas of brain functioning. (Mickes et al: 696) The medial temporal lobes are area of the brain known to be important for declarative (and particularly, episodic) memory. (Mickes et al: 696) The neuropsychological testing undertaken in this study was meant to try to discover how Alzheimer's progresses, spatially from one area of the brain to another over time. [...]

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