Alzheimer s Disease is a disease of the brain characterized by confusion, loss of memory, and hallucinations. The disease affects an estimated 2. 5 to 3 million people in the United States and is a leading cause of dementia among the elderly. It starts as the loss of memory, then becomes an inability to perform everyday functions. Alzheimer’s disease usually starts after the age of sixty five. Early onset Alzheimer’s disease is rare and very aggressive.
It can affect people as young as the age of thirty. Although currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, therapies are available that can reduce the severity of the symptoms. The average survival rate of people with the disease is between five and ten years, although many people now survive fifteen years or more because of improvements in treatment. Although the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease increases with advancing age, there is no evidence that it is caused by the aging process.
The ability of doctors to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease has improved over the last ten years, but final diagnosis can be confirmed only at autopsy. At autopsy, people with Alzheimer’s disease show nerve cell loss in the parts of the brain associated with thought. The person suffering from Alzheimer s disease usually requires a level of care beyond what family members can provide. The causes are still unknown, and no cure is in sight. I feel that this disease is a major killer in the United States and should be studied even more. Hopefully there will be a cure within the next few years to prevent this terrible disease..
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