St. Thomas Aquinass 5 Proofs Of Gods Existence

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St. Thomas Aquinass 5 Proofs Of Gods Existence


Alzheimer's Disease

Katrina Lindsey

Florida Atlantic University

Advanced CPR

John Picarello

March 18, 2000


Alzheimer's disease is a complex illness that affects the brain tissue directly and
undergoes gradual memory and behavioral changes which makes it difficult to diagnose. It
is known to be the most common form of dementia and is irreversible. Over four million
older Americans have Alzheimer's, and that number is expected to triple in the next twenty
years as more people live into their eighties and nineties. (Johnson, 1989). There is
still no cure for Alzheimer's but throughout the past few years a lot of progress has been

Doctors need a sure way to diagnose the disease before treatment or studies can be done.
The diagnosis is an autopsy of brain tissue examined under a microscope. In addition,
medical history, a physical exam, and mental status tests are used for diagnosis (Posen,
1995). Often, tests are done to rule out other potential causes of the dementia. This
allows the identification of other causes of thinking and behavioral changes to be made
before concluding that the patient has Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. The tests
that are requested to be done include CT and MRI scans to rule out strokes or brain tumors
which could account for change in memory and behavior; thyroid and psychological tests
which can also detect thinking and behavior problems (Posen, 1995).

Alzheimer's is a result from a combination of factors that cause progressive brain
deterioration that affects the memory and behavior of an individual. There are two known
risk factors. The first risk factor is age. Alzheimer's usually affects people older than
60, and rarely affects those younger than 40. The average age


of diagnosis is about 80 years old (Johnson, 1989). The incidence is about the same for
all races, but women are more likely than men to develop the disease, because they live
longer. The second factor is heredity. Family history plays a role in about forty percent
of people with early onset of Alzheimer's (Johnson, 1989). If your parents or a sibling
developed the disease, you are more likely to, as well. But there are cases of families
with several people who have had this disease and other members are not affected. These
two factors are the only proven factors, but environmental research is being done to help
with a possible protective effect for the disease. As of now, more research is needed to
confirm any benefit.

The causes of Alzheimer's follows the same pattern as most other dementias. Neurons
degenerate and lose their ability to communicate and die. Due to the inability of the
brain to replace nerve cells, some brain function is lost. The key question in Alzheimer's
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