Alzheimer's Disease Essay

1326 WordsMay 16, 20146 Pages
Maria Castro Mrs. Warren Biology 30 April 2014 Alzheimer’s disease Many people tend to think that when humans start to reach the age of 50 and 60, they become frail. Several people think they are at greater risk of getting diseases. Also, forgetfulness of events is believed by some to be a sign of aging. To them, these changes of the human body are common from aging. In reality, some of these changes do not occur naturally. Alzheimer’s disease, AD, is an irreversible, incurable disease that gradually destroys brain tissue and robs people of their memory and thinking abilities (Adams 6). AD is the most common form of dementia, a neurologic disease characterized by loss of mental ability severe enough to interfere with normal activities of daily living (Lerner 14). As AD progresses in the brain, it destroys cells that control memory and other tasks such as reasoning and language. When these nerve cells are destroyed, they can no longer be replaced. This disease is frequently found in people who are 65 years and older and is also the 5th leading cause of death in Americans (Lerner 15). People who have AD are most likely to pass away within 8 years of their diagnoses. Many writers in the past had thought that the inability to remember and recognize was just a natural cause of aging. A Greek philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras, stated that the mental abilities of a person would decline at old age like the mind of an infant. Two centuries later, Aristotle wrote that in the elderly “there is not much left of the acumen of the mind which helped them in their youth, nor of the faculties which served the intellect, and which some call judgment, imagination, power of reasoning, and memory” (Adams 15). However, a Roman philosopher Cicero of the second century B.C. claimed that the loss of mental abilities does not always accompany old age. In 1907, Dr.

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