Understand the Process and Experience of Dementia

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Understand the process and experience of dementia Task A Questions and Answers 1 For each of the following forms of dementia, describe: • How the brain is affected • The symptoms an individual might experience. a) Alzheimer’s disease The affects of Alzheimer’s disease on the brain are;- The brain cortex shrivels up this damages the areas involved in thinking, planning and remembering, Shrinkage is especially severe in the hippocampus, this is the area of the cortex that plays a key role in formation of new memories, as the cortex continues to shrivel the Ventricles, which are fluid filled spaces within the brain grow larger. As the above process continues brain cells and nerves are killed off this causes changes to the chemistry of the brain, which results in the number of neurotransmitters being reduced and levels of acetylcholine falling. Abnormal clusters of protein fragments, which are called Plaques, build up in between nerve cells. These Plaques are formed as protein pieces, which are called beta-amyloid, clump together, (Beta-amyloid is formed from a larger protein which is found in the fatty membrane surrounding nerve cells). The chemical texture of the protein beta-amyloid is sticky, this is what enables the protein to clump together to form the plaques. Groups of small pieces of Beta-amyloid, rather than the plaques are more damaging to the brain, as they can block cell to cell at synapses, it is possible that these small pieces of Beta-amyloid can activate immune system cells that trigger inflammation and devour the disabled cells. Inside the dead and dying nerve cells Tangles form, these are twisted fibers of a protein called tau, these tangles break down the tracks inside nerve cells stopping nutrients moving through the cells causing them to die. The symptoms an individual might experience;- The symptoms that an individual
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