Mental Illness Paper

“The human mind is a channel through which things-to-be are coming into the realm of things-that-are”, a notable quote from Henry Ford in 1930. The mind is a powerful thing. It has the ability to control our body in order to live, to talk, to share with others. Civilizations can be built, movements can start, governments can be constructed, etc. all because of the mind giving you a process. When there is a mental illness, it can make the process difficult. Alzheimer’s affects more than 5. 2 million people today.Symptoms, myths, misconceptions, treatments are all fundamental in the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, and to hopefully prevent others from acquiring it in older age. * In 1906, Dr. Alois Alzheimer was the first one to recognize the abnormality of a brain affected with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. With Alzheimer’s the connections between the brain cells deteriorate and die, which causes the memory loss. There are many myths surrounding Alzheimer’s disease. It is a normal part of aging” is one of the biggest. While some memory loss is expected with aging, Alzheimer’s is concerned with a severe amount of memory loss. The severity can limit a person’s ability to perform daily tasks. “Older people are the only ones who get it” is one that seems to go hand-in-hand with Alzheimer’s being a normal part of aging. While the majority of those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are between the ages of 65-80, there are cases where early onset can be detected as early as ones 40s or 50s.Past treatments included treating some of the symptoms because there was no known cure. Medication to treat depression and memory loss were able to help some of the symptoms, but some had seen cognitive effects because of this. * There are signs and symptoms that accompany Alzheimer’s disease. With memory loss, there are certain things to distinguish between normal memory loss and early onset of Alzheimer’s.Everyone can have lapses in memory however, repeated statements and questions (without knowing that you are doing it), forget conversation, appointments, events, and not remember them later, putting objects in illogical places, forgetting names of family members and everyday objects are some of the warning signs of Alzheimer’s. When it comes to interacting with others, disorientation can also increase. Forgetting what day it is, what’s going on in your personal life, what season it is, are examples of the disorientation that can happen. This can lead to someone getting lost in amiliar places, and difficult to understand the surroundings. Speaking, writing, thinking, making judgments, can also suffer because Alzheimer’s can prohibit the brain from concentrating to make full sentences, recognize and deal with numbers, or even solve everyday problems. A person’s personality can also change. Because of the brain not making the connections it needs to maintain healthy memory, there are personality changes that can take place due to this. Depression, social withdraw, mood swings, sleeping habits, and especially delusions. Wide arrays of emotions are to be expected because of disorientation. When looking at the physical aspect of the brain, starting with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease, there are abnormal deposits of proteins that form plaques throughout the brain; this causes the tiny electrical charges to not fire correctly causing the disruptions in memory itself. An Alzheimer’s patient has a cortex that shrivels up over time. The cortex helps with planning and remembering, which explains why those who are affected experience increased memory loss. The hippocampus shrinks the most, while the ventricles grow larger, which can account for irritability and mood swings.Protein pieces clump together that also prevents the electrical charge that the neurotransmitters need to send memory. With the brain being as complex as it is, the synapses those are vital to take place to maintain healthy brain activity. * The earliest stages of Alzheimer’s are almost never diagnosed, and are more commonly referred to preclinical Alzheimer’s. As someone ages, there are degrees of severity. Early Alzheimer’s, mild to moderate and severe Alzheimer’s can be a reason to see not only a primary care physician, but also a specialist.If someone notices these symptoms, it is important to see your primary care physician. They knowing you medical history can review and suggest being seen by a neurologist (a doctor specializing in brain conditions). He/she will perform many different tests including cognitive skills, changing in personality and behavior, and how you function in daily life. Many of the first tests done by a neurologist would be to see how the brain is working compared to others of the same age, education, life, etc.The reason to perform these routine tests are to make sure that it is not something more common like a tumor, head injury, or other mental condition other than Alzheimer’s. After preliminary tests are completed other tests may be required. With the technological advances that are at our disposal today, there is also a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan shows the electrical currents as the brain functions. CT scans can also be issued to rule out other medical conditions like tumors, or head injuries. * Unfortunately there are no concrete causes as to the development of Alzheimer’s as well as no cure for the disease.There are however, treatments to combat the symptoms as well decrease the progression of the disease. Medication is the number one technique used. Cholinesterase inhibitor is a medication that helps the brain remembers by boosting the cell-to-cell communication. A lot of these types of drugs have been used since the discovery of the disease. Another medication that is used is Memantine. This is used in combination with the cholinesterase inhibitors especially in severe Alzheimer’s cases. Another way to promote a healthy brain environment is to create a supportive and safe environment.When it comes to the effect of daily life, one idea is to clear clutter away. Some mobility might be at risk because of the disorientation and falls could happen more. Regular exercise is also something that is needed throughout life, and especially with those who experience Alzheimer’s. It can alleviate, irritability by promoting endorphins, as well as maintain body health. Maintaining social engagement and mental stimulation makes life more satisfying and exercising can also slow down the progress with postponing a symptom called “sun downing”.Sundowning is when a person experiences a major personality or behavioral change depending on the time of day…usually late afternoon/early evening because of napping. By not having a safe environment, it can detract from successful treatment. A fall is all that it takes for someone to lose the mobility that is needed to complete everyday tasks. This can lead to depression, as well irritability and social withdraw. Without the social and mental stimulation, it can accelerate the deterioration of the brain.Before the technology was created, there weren’t too conclusive tests that can verify the Alzheimer’s existing. A lot of the treatments were containing medication. There wasn’t too many correlations made about healthy living and mental health so there wasn’t promotions for exercising. * Throughout the discovery of the disease, there have been many different discoveries made about the disease. Learning that Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. Alzheimer’s is also caused because of the brain cells dying and not being able to create the synapses need to remember things.With age, the synapses become more difficult to complete. While there are ways to decrease the acceleration of Alzheimer’s, researchers are coming closer and closer to the cause and cure of the disease. Some preventative measures that someone can take are eating right and exercising daily is something that can improve the quality of life long into advanced age. Mental stimulation is imperative to insure that memory loss is a minimum by maintaining social interaction. The thirst for knowledge should never cease, and has more benefits than ever before. * ReferencesHuman Diseases: A Systemic Approach, Seventh Edition, by Mark Zelman, Ph. D. , Elaine Tompary, PharmD, Jill Raymond, Ph. D. , Paul Holdaway, MA, and Mary Lou Mulvihill, Ph. D. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 14 http://www. alz. org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers. asp http://www. nia. nih. gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/alzheimers-disease/DS00161 http://nihseniorhealth. gov/alzheimersdisease/whatisalzheimersdisease/01. html http://www. notable-quotes. com/m/mind_quotes. html

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