Alzheimer's Disease Case Study Essay

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Alzheimer’s A Case Study Mauricio Alvarez Human Anatomy & Physiology I – Theory Galen College of Nursing Professor Kelly Washington, MA November 27, 2016 Alzheimer’s disease, is a progressive nerve cell degeneration disease that develops in mid-to-late adulthood, (65 to 80 years and beyond) affecting 5 million Americans. ("Alzheimer 's Disease Fact Sheet | National Institute on Aging," n.d.) Pathology The pathology of this disease leads to a loss of memory affecting judgement and reasoning, and movement coordination. Alois Alzheimer a German Scientist, Neurologist, Psychiatrist (1864-1915) studied a 51-year-old woman Auguste Deter who presented with progressive cognitive impairment, hallucinations and psychosocial incompetence. After she died, Alzheimer performed an autopsy identifying several pathological changes in her brain such as: shrinking of the cortex and neuritic plaques. This structural changes are believed to decrease acetylcholine a cranial neurotransmitter by as much of 75%, contributing to cognitive impairment. Maurer, K., & Volk, S. (1997). Body System (s) involved Alzheimer’s disease mainly affect the brain by impairing the parts of the brain that allow us to form memories, to reason, to orient ourselves. This disease spreads to parts of the brain that control…show more content…
In Alzheimer 's disease, the appearance of the Alzheimer 's affected brain is very different to a normal brain. Cortical atrophy, enlarged ventricles, basal ganglia wasting, changes in the proteins of the nerve cells of the cerebral cortex, accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles and neuritic plaques, (deposits of protein and altered cell structures on the intraneural junctions), granulovacuolar degeneration, loss of cholinergic nerve cells (important in memory function and cognition). In lay man terms: shrinkage of the brain making the neurotransmitter systems impaired. (In Venes, 2005, p.

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