Information About Alzheimer's Disease.

Essay by stevecivicJunior High, 9th gradeA+, October 2003

download word file, 4 pages 3.7

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the most common diseases among elderly people today. Alzheimer's creates emotional and financial catastrophe for many American families every year. It affects nearly 4 million people in the United States. Alzheimer's disease is the fourth leading cause of adult death in the United States, and nearly 90 billion dollars go towards Alzheimer's research each year, most of this money is funded by federal government, but private funding also takes place.

Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative brain disease. It is caused by a slow break down of the brain cells. This is caused by unknown reasons but it is believed to be caused by renegade proteins surrounding and destroying brain cells. AD is actually quite random toward its victims. The greatest risk factor for the disease is age. Alois Alzheimer, a German physician, first discovered Alzheimer's disease in 1906. The first recorded case of Alzheimer's disease was a 55-year-old woman.

She was admitted to the mental asylum where Alzheimer worked when she was 51 and slowly deteriorated over her 4 years there. After her death, Alzheimer performed an autopsy in which he found a small, shrunken brain. This was the start of Alzheimer's research. Since its discovery, Alzheimer's disease hasn't evolved much. It's much more common now and the symptoms are slightly enhanced, but the disease is relatively the same. The number of people with Alzheimer's disease is expected to increase dramatically as the baby boomers age, and by 2050 it is believed that there will be over 14 million Americans with AD. Some scientists believe that Alzheimer's disease may be caused by a mutation of a gene on chromosome 14; this mutation is related to about 8% of all Alzheimer's cases. According to the Alzheimer's disease and Referral Center statistics up to...