Distinguish smells and tastes.

Autopsy remains the only true diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, there have been advances in diagnosis by scanning the brain. One test, the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) , scan can detect brain abnormalities. (Time Magazine,1995). Although Alzheimer’s Disease was first discovered in 1906 by Alois Alzheimer in Germany, senile dementia was first recorded in Greece in 600 B.C. A lawgiver known only as one of the seven wise men stated that judgment is compromised in old age. Alzheimer’s Disease was known as senile dementia until this point in time. Plato recognized senile dementia and stated that certain crimes were excusable in extreme old age. Although dementia was often associated with old age, the Greeks recognized that is was not part of normal aging. Hippocrates felt that senile dementia was part of the aging process. About 160 A.D., “morosis” (dementia) was added to the list of mental disorders and included old age as the time in which dementia occurs.

In 1599, DuLaurens, a physician to Henry IV of France stated that, as the body grow old and weak, memories are lost and becomes similar to the mind of a child. As late as the nineteenth century, senile dementia was considered to be inevitable with age. People with senile dementia were placed in asylums until death occurred (Hamdy et al., 1998). In 1906, Alois Alzheimer presented a case of a woman of fifty-five years suffering with dementia. This case was unique because of her age. Senile dementia was thought to commence at sixty-five or older. The woman died within four years. An autopsy was performed which showed “multiple foci”, known as plaques as well as thick, coiled fibers, known as tangles (Hamdy et al., 1998).

In 1978, Charles Wells published an article which told of autopsy findings. In his book, Wells states that the autopsy findings of persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and senile dementia to be identical (Hamdy et al., 1998). Types of Memory Loss Memory loss is one of the first noticeable problems which occurs with the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. Memory loss can lead to communication, safety, and behavior problems. There are three different types of memory which can be affected (Alzheimer-Europe. Undated).

Episodic memory is the memory which people have of events which have occurred in their lives, ranging from the most significant to the most ordinary. Within episodic memory are short-term and long-term memory. Short-term memory is what has happened in the last hour. Long-term memory is events which happened over an hour ago. In the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, people have no difficulty remembering long past but cannot remember what happened an hour ago. Memories of distant past events may sometimes interfere with present behavior . (Alzheimer-Europe. Undated). For instance, some people with Alzheimer’s Disease may wake up in the night afraid and asking for their mother. They need to be comforted and reassured (Sirois, 1998).

Semantic memory covers the part of memory of word meanings. Some people, as the disease of Alzheimer’s progresses, lose the ability to use words in proper context or become able to state the appropriate word and begin to point to an item (Alzheimer-Europe. Undated). Procedural memory is the ability to know and carry out actions such as, playing cards, checkers and activities of daily living, such as dressing, washing, and cooking.

Communication becomes compromised as Alzheimer’s Disease progresses. Afflicted people have difficulty expressing and understanding language. This in itself can cause problems because when people are unable to state their wishes and needs, those wishes and/or needs cannot be appropriately carried out (Alzheimer-Europe. Undated). Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease Alzheimer’s Disease is usually divided into three stages. People with Alzheimer’s Disease can go back and forth through the stages and have symptoms of each of them (Alzheimer’s Association, 1997).

Stage One places an emphasis on memory loss. Forgetting names and telephone numbers is very common during early stages. Loved ones may downplay or deny the importance of these events. The afflicted person may begin to exhibit difficulty with attention and will search for the “right” words. During this stage the person may become disoriented in places which were once familiar to them. They may develop problems with money, paying for the same service once or not at all. They begin to develop problems with the abstract. They become unable to draw a picture of a cube on a piece of paper, even though there is one drawn for them, they only need to reproduce it (Alzheimer-Europe. Undated).

Stage Two of Alzheimer’s Disease sees an increased severity of problems. The person may have to leave their job and/or stop driving. Memory problems increase and distant memories remain intact. During this stage, because of increased memory loss, the person with Alzheimer’s Disease may forget that people have visited them and complain that no one comes to visit. Loss of appetite can occur. This related to the person’s inability to distinguish smells and tastes. Insomnia may begin as well as the inability to distinguish day from night. Person with Alzheimer’s Disease may appear selfish and refuse help as their ability to carry out everyday chores begins to decline.

They may become agitated, exhibit aggression, and pace for hours. Repetition of the same words and phrases is common during this stage (Alzheimer-Europe. Undated). During Stage Three, cognitive functions have almost disappeared. Incontinence becomes prevalent. The inability of walk, sit, or swallow has greatly diminished or disappeared. Despite the severity of Stage three, the person with Alzheimer’s Disease still responds to touch and familiar, soft voices (Alzheimer-Europe. Undated).

The word “dementia” refers to symptoms found in people who have cognitive problems. This is a result of losing brain cells. Although losing brain cells is part of the aging process, illnesses related to dementia of any kind occurs at …

Specific Purpose: To help my audience understand what Alzheimer’s Disease is. Thesis Statement: The need to educate people on Alzheimer’s Disease for family members or friends in-case a loved one is diagnosed. Introduction: A. What would one do if their …

Two elderly gentlemen with Alzheimer’s disease lived together in a nice little flat. One of the men heard the sound of an ice cream van. He turned and said to the other man, “would you like anything from the ice …

Specific Purpose: To help my audience understand what Alzheimer’s Disease is. Thesis Statement: The need to educate people on Alzheimer’s Disease for family members or friends in-case a loved one is diagnosed. Introduction: A. What would one do if their …

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