Dementia is a type of disease where the patient suffering from the problem experiences loss of mental ability and gradual death of brain cells. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia which is caused by the death of brain cells (Refer to Appendix A). It is also called a neurodegenerative disease because the brain cells will progressively die over the time. The death of brain cells leads to a few symptoms, for examples, having bad memories, changing of personality and behavior, and having problems in visuospatial skills, speaking, reading and writing as the parts of the brain would no longer function normally due to the death of brain cells. With the death of brain cells, many nerve impulses and nutrients cannot be transmitted properly in order to carry out an action (MacGill, 2016).
Alzheimer’s disease is formed due to the development of plaques and tangles when people begin aging (Refer to Appendix B). The plaques and tangles also tend to develop in a predictable pattern, beginning in areas important for memory before spreading to other regions (Alzheimer Organization, n.d.). Plaques are deposits of a protein fragment called beta-amyloid that builds up in the spaces between nerve cells. Tangles are twisted fibers of another protein called ‘tau’ that builds up inside cells (Bright focus, n.d.). Most experts believe they somehow play a critical role in blocking communication among nerve cells and disrupting processes that cells need to survive. It’s the destruction and death of nerve cells that causes memory failure, personality changes, problems carrying out daily activities and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
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