Alzheimer`s Disease

Alzheimer`s Disease




Alzheimer`sdisease is a health condition and a type of dementia that affects thevictim by killing the brain cells. Alzheimer`s diseaseaccounts for about 50% to 80% of all the types of dementia (Lecture3, 2015). Because of the world concernabout Alzheimer`s disease and an increase in its prevalence,especially among the aged group, it is important to discuss thecondition. The discussion seeks to understand Alzheimer`s disease byexploring what it is known of, its progression stages and theintervention for families with an Alzheimer`s disease patient. Thisunderstanding will inform the suggestion of factors that increasestress for such families.


Progressivedeath of brain cells is the primary cause of the Alzheimer`s disease.According to Morris and Becker (2004), Alzheimer`s disease is causedby the death of the brain over a period of time. As the diseasedevelops, the effects lead to the shrinking of the brain tissue,which reduces the size of the brain (Poon, et alSprouse, 2003). However, theexact cause of the death of the brain cells and eventually theAlzheimer`s disease is not conclusively known. Despite being havingan inconclusive cause, there is a close association of Alzheimer`sdisease with reduced neurotransmitter activity, tau-proteinabnormalities and the extracellular Beta-amyloid (Morris &ampBecker, 2004). These can be explained by exploring the potential riskfactors that lead to the condition.


Oneof the risk factors is age and aging. This is perceived risk factorbecause of the observation that Alzheimer`s disease mostly affectsthe people from the age 30 but prevalence increases as people age(Alzheimer`s Association, 2015). In terms of occurrence, many peopleexperience the late-onset Alzheimer’s disease from the age of 60.This makes the risk of experiencing the condition increase with time,as a person ages.

Anotherrisk factor is genetics and genetic characteristics. Genetics isclosely associated with genetics as a risk factor when the disease iscaused by the genes passed from a parent to the offspring (Poon, etalSprouse, 2003). Scientists havesuggested a number of genes that are suspected to be passed fromparents and increase the risk of having Alzheimer`s disease. One ofthem is the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene, which is common with thelate-onset Alzheimer’s disease (Alzheimer`s Association, 2015).APOE gene may exist in a number of forms, such as APOEe4, all whichare observed in different stages of the Alzheimer`s disease(Alzheimer`s Association, 2015).

Anotherrisk factor is the combination of the environmental and lifestylefactors. These are factors that lead to the existence of other healthconditions, such as degenerative diseases which are risk factors forAlzheimer`s disease. Some of the health conditions that areassociated with experience of Alzheimer`s disease include strokediabetes, obesity, coronary heart diseases, and high blood pressure(Rowe&amp Khan, 1998). While thesediseases were not determined to have a specific contribution to theoccurrence of the Alzheimer`s disease, their presence has been linkedthrough clinical processes to facilitate Alzheimer`s disease.

Stagesof progression

Alzheimer`sdisease occurs in three stages that make their symptoms at differentlevels. The first stage is mild Alzheimer`s disease where the patientexperiences frequent losses in memory(Lecture 3, 2015). At this stage, theAlzheimer`s disease is a neurological disorder causing the memoryloss because by killing the brain cells. This stage lasts for betweentwo to four years.

Thesecond stage is the moderate Alzheimer`s disease, which lasts for twoto ten years. At this stage, the patient loses his or her ability tocarry out some basic activities independently. At this stage, thepatient further experiences difficulties in speech and coordinationbecause of the neurodegenerative form of the condition thatsignificantly reduce in their cognitive abilities (Rowe&amp Khan, 1998). The thirdstage of the Alzheimer`s disease is the most severe or late stage,which lasts from one to three or more years. At this state, thepatient is totally confused about the past as well as the presentbecause of the advanced level of loss of cognitive abilities.

Interventionfor Older Persons and Stress factors

Oneof the most important intervention measures for old people is properdiet and healthy meals. Diet and nutrition helps to keep the braincells healthier by nourishing them well for better memory. Inaddition, diet facilitates growth of more brain cells, despite thedeath of the cells caused by Alzheimer`s disease. Anotherintervention is proper management of other health conditions thatolder people have (Rowe&amp Khan, 1998). For instance,combating the vascular conditions and degenerative diseases canreduce their chances of acting as the risk factors of developingAlzheimer`s disease. These diseases can be managed through treatmentor medication for the reduction of their effect on the human body(Rowe&amp Khan, 1998). Moreover,healthy practices to help older people to remain healthy are a goodintervention. Healthy practices include physical activity, regularsocial engagements and promoting mentally stimulating activities forthe aged.

Forfamilies with an Alzheimer`s disease patient, one factor that causesstress is the increase emotional concern due to the demand forattention by the patient. Another factor is the high cost oftreatment and management of the condition. The patients requiremedical treatment, imaging costs and regular medication, which coststhe family (Rowe&amp Khan, 1998). In addition,physical requirement for personal care causes stress for the family.Alzheimer`s disease patients require daily and regulate personalcare, which requires that families dedicate full time care to them(Morris &amp Becker, 2004). These factors cause challenges for thefamily with an older person with the Alzheimer`s disease.


Alzheimer`sAssociation. The Search forAlzheimer’s Causes and Risk Factors.Retrieved From,&lt 29, 2015

Lecture3, 2015, Lesson 3: The PsychologicalContext of Aging: Mental and Emotional Well Being. ClassNotes, 2015Pearson Education, Inc, 2/17/2015

Morris,‎R., &amp Becker, J. (2004). Cognitive Neuropsychology of. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Poon,L., &nbspGueldner, S.H., &amp Sprouse, B.M. (2003).Successful Aging and Adaptation with Chronic Diseases. NewYork: Springer Publishing Company

Rowe,J.W., &amp Khan, R.L. (1998). SuccessfulAging.Michigan: University of Michigan