Alzheimer’s disease is a serious condition affecting the lives of millions of people. Its symptoms and consequences worsen with age. The disease can be caused by numerous factors, and cannot be cured. This paper will provide the background information on the possible reasons leading to the development of this condition and possible ways of preventing it.
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Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by “a gradual decline in memory and other cognitive functions and neuropathologically by gross atrophy of the brain and the accumulation of extracellular amyloid plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles” (Karch et al. 11). In simple words, it is the condition caused by the negative changes in the human brain that, as the end result, leads to memory loss and some behavioral issues that worsen the quality of patient’s life. Among other primary symptoms, there are initial memory lapses that later evolve into losing things around the house, facing difficulties in expressing one’s thoughts, e.g., problems with finding the necessary word, concerns with forgetting recent events, hardships in making decision, judging situations or with sequential tasks, losing orientation etc. (“What is Alzheimer’s disease” par. 9, 11).
This condition has a robust genetic component behind it, as it has been proved that mutational in genes are the ordinary cause of the disease. What should be stressed on about the genetic background of the disease is that these are the mutations in proteins that lead to its development, namely amyloid precursor protein (Karch et al. 11).
Except for genetic aspects of the disease, there are is also a strong environmental component that adds to it. What is meant by the word environmental is not only what surrounds the patient but also the way of life he/she leads and the habits he/she has. For this reason, they can be divided into two groups – solely environmental and so-called habitual.
As of the first group of causes leading to Alzheimer’s disease, it includes exposure to pesticides and toxins and electromagnetic fields and high aluminum intake with water. Speaking of the lifestyle habits that may provoke the disease, they are little physical exercises, excess consumption of alcohol, imbalanced diet often resulting in obesity, etc. There are also some external factors that have to do with the state of health but cannot be controlled by those in the risk group, for example, diabetes, inflammation processes, high blood pressure, and serious head traumas (Campdelacreu 541).
Unfortunately, nowadays, there is no cure to Alzheimer’s. That means that nobody can be absolutely safe from it. However, there are some basic steps that can help prevent the development and worsening of the diseases. The primary prevention tool of the Alzheimer’s disease is leading a healthy way of life including enough physical exercise, balanced diet, and cognitive activities. What is also of crucial importance is enough mental activities and social interactions. In the case if the patient knows that he/she is in the risk group, the decision to fight possible inflammations, the formation of neurofibrillary tangles and further protein mutations can be made (DeKosky 14).
That said, Alzheimer’s disease is a serious illness caused by a wide range of factors. It is the condition that cannot be controlled or cured once it started evolving but it can be prevented or slowed down by following a simple set of recommendations centering on enough physical and mental activities and balanced diet.
Campdelacreu, Jaume. “Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer Disease: Environmental Risk Factors.” Neurologia 29.9 (2014): 541-549. Print.
DeKosky, Steven T. Alzheimer’s Disease: Current and Future Therapies. 2 May 2014. PDF File.
Karch, Celeste M., Carlos Cruchaga, and Alison M. Goate. “Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics: From the Bench to the Clinic.” Neuron 83.1 (2014): 11-26. Print.