Alzheimer's Disease According To The Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Disease Type: Term Paper Paper: #2571036 Related Topics: Muscular System, Cardiovascular Disease, Exercise Physiology, Physiology
Excerpt from Term Paper :

One of the most common mental disorders linked to Alzheimer's is depression which according to Elwood Cohen manifests itself in three important ways. First, "There are higher rates of depression among Alzheimer's patients than among non-demented adults;" second, "Having a depressive episode is associated with an increased risk for developing Alzheimer's," and third, Depressive symptoms can be confused with dementia in older adults" (1999, 214).

In a recent study conducted by the Cardiovascular Health Initiative, based in Washington, D.C., more than one-third of 400 dementia patients and more than one-fifth of 300 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) had experienced symptoms of depression during a one-month period prior to the study. Similar results were reported by the Multi-Institutional Research in Alzheimer's Genetic Epidemiology (MIRAGE) which discovered that "In the year prior to a patient being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, the same patient was almost five times more likely than their immediate family members to experience some type of symptoms linked to depression" (Powell, 1993, 182). Clearly, these links between Alzheimer's and depression should serve as a warning to those who are now experiencing some form of depression, especially if some members of their immediate family are suffering from Alzheimer's or has at some point in the past.


Currently, there are a number of medications/pharmaceuticals that are being used to treat people with Alzheimer's disease. These include Cognex, "the first drug made available to treat Alzheimer's by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1993" (Cohen, 1999, 215); Aricept, released in 1996 and a significant improvement over Cognex and Reminyl, approved by the FDA in 2001 and derived from daffodils which were used in years past as a herbal folklore medicine to treat memory loss. These and several other lesser-known...


Obviously, any type of improvement and/or progress in patients with this disease is far better than no improvement, even if these drugs only slow down the symptoms or help patients to remain in a stable condition.

There are also a number of optional treatments available for those with Alzheimer's disease. First, since the disease causes inflammation of the brain tissues, some patients have responded quite well to the taking of antioxidants which "trigger a chemical reaction in the brain with oxygen, resulting in the release of free radicals" (Coughlin, 1993, 235). Some patients have responded positively to ingesting certain vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin B which also contain antioxidant properties and help to eliminate free radicals in the brain.

Of course, the best way to treat Alzheimer's disease is to diagnose it early on and thus alter one's lifestyle and habits. This may include taking vitamins, changing one's dietary intake, exercise and intellectual activities that involve thinking, such as reading and writing. However, the risk factors associated with being diagnosed with Alzheimer's is basically genetic, yet a person can make a great difference in their chances of acquiring Alzheimer's by early detection and by being under the care of an Alzheimer's specialist.


Cohen, Elwood. (1999). Alzheimer's Disease. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Coughlin, Patricia B. (1993). Facing Alzheimer's. New York: Ballantine Books.

Powell, Lenore S. (1993). Alzheimer's Disease: A Guide for Families. New York: Addison-Wesley Publishers, Inc.

A and Katie Courtice. (1993). Alzheimer's Disease. New York:…

Sources Used in Documents:


Cohen, Elwood. (1999). Alzheimer's Disease. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Coughlin, Patricia B. (1993). Facing Alzheimer's. New York: Ballantine Books.

Powell, Lenore S. (1993). Alzheimer's Disease: A Guide for Families. New York: Addison-Wesley Publishers, Inc.

A and Katie Courtice. (1993). Alzheimer's Disease. New York: Addison-Wesley Publishers, Inc.

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