This research work required one of the topics from the class theme of memory. Therefore, Alzheimer’s disorder is an appropriate topic. It is a disease that leads to irregular functioning of the brain and causes death. The life expectancy of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease ranges from 4 to 8 years after the diagnosis (Alzheimer’s disease). The effects of Alzheimer’s disease are adverse because it gradually attacks the brain hence causing eventual malfunction of the brain cells. The disease slowly attacks the brain and the effects spread over the body (Alzheimer’s disease). According to the Alzheimer’s disease association, it is estimated that the disease affects 44 million people around the world. In the U.S, there are over 15 million people providing care to family members or friends battling Alzheimer’s disorder (Alzheimer’s disease). According to the CDC, Alzheimer’s disorder is the number six cause of death in the U.S. However, the lack of sufficient information on this disease calls for the need for more public awareness about the Alzheimer’s disease.
The CDC data projection shows that over 3 million Americans aged 85 years and over will potentially suffer from Alzheimer’s disease before 2031(Alzheimer’s disease). The condition is most popular among older people, but it is essential to know that the disease can affect even younger people. It rarely affects people under the age bracket of 40, but it is not impossible. Alzheimer’s disease is most familiar with people over Alzheimer’s disease 65 years. The symptoms of the disease are gradual; however, over time, the symptoms get worse. Alzheimer’s disease has three major stages:
A different set of symptoms characterizes Alzheimer’s stages (Alzheimer’s disease). For instance, the intermediate stage occurs between the first and fourth year of getting the disease. During this stage, people mostly lose interest any doing anything like work and attending social places becomes even harder due to lack of enough energy (Alzheimer’s disease). Fewer issues of coordination also characterize the middle stage of Alzheimer’s disease. For example, reading and writing become a problem. The people in the intermediate stage of the disease commonly experience loss of recent memories and may forget conversations (Alzheimer’s Association 368). There is also a possibility of mood swing accompanied by high levels of depression. The affected people in the very last stages often show difficulties in driving and may forget common routes. The stage is known as middle stages because the victims have not been subjected to any medical procedure to confirm if it is Alzheimer’s disease.
The moderate stage begins when the symptoms of the disease worsen (Alzheimer’s disease). For instance, the victims begin to experience more memory loss and might easily forget things like addresses and names (Alzheimer’s disease). The people affected begin to experience more delusions, confusion and digressive speeches. It is the stage where the affected persons can start wondering from their homes hence endangering their lives. People usually begin to seek medical attention from this stage because there is a high level of depression (Alzheimer’s Association 369). The final step if the severe stage, it is the stage where the disorder reaches its peak with significant confusion. The last step shows extreme levels of mood swing as well as hallucinations. The individuals affected begin to have much difficulty in eating or even bathing alone.
The increased cases of Alzheimer’s disease have now made the drive to find a medical solution a world concern (Alzheimer’s disease). It is vital to know that currently there is no cure for the disorder, but there are medical procedures that lower the symptoms. The physician must split the treatment plan for Alzheimer’s disease to meet the needs of the affected people. The responsibilities include behavioral and cognitive abilities of the affected people (Alzheimer’s disease). The cognitive category includes experiences such as memory loss, speech difficulties, and limited judgment skills. The cholinesterase inhibitor, as well as acetylcholine prescription, provides the much-needed help for the victims. They enable the person to retain memory loss. Therefore, this stage has limited medical advice conducted to slow down the effects of the disorder
The risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease are either modifiable or non-modifiable (Alzheimer’s disease). For instance, the modifiable risks include low education, smoking, alcoholism, higher blood pressure, lack of exercise and poor diet. However, non-modifiable risks include genetics, age, and gender. There is significant evidence linking Alzheimer’s illness with low levels of education (Alzheimer’s disease). The conclusion is that a higher level of knowledge leads to a better connection with one brain. The culture of smoking and indulging in alcoholism also lead to Alzheimer’s disease. For instance, research indicates 45% of people who smoke have increased chances of contracting Alzheimer’s disease (Alzheimer’s disease). High levels of alcoholism are also a risk factor because it contributes to high blood pressure, a potential cause Alzheimer’s disease. Lack of enough exercise is a leading cause of Alzheimer’s disorder, and it is the reason why the disease is more prevalent among the aged. Older people do not engage in opportunities of exercise, and in most cases, their diet is also uncontrolled hence leading to Alzheimer’s disease.
Non-modifiable risks such as age are risk issues for Alzheimer’s disease. The chances of getting the diseases for people over 65 years of age are higher, almost doubled. Genetic factors also contribute to Alzheimer’s disease (Alzheimer’s disease). For instance, some people argue that Alzheimer’s disease does not run in the family tree; there are rare cases where it is thought to have been inherited. Gender has a significant role in the risk factor (Alzheimer’s disease). For example, women are at higher risk of contracting the disease as compared to men. The only way to lower the chance of contracting Alzheimer’s disease is by improving the health of brain through physical exercises, no smoking, no alcohol intake, regular checkups, lower stress; challenge the mind through reading and consumption of healthier foods like vegetables.
The prevention of Alzheimer’s disorder is characterized into primary, secondary and tertiary preventions (Souery& Bishop 13). The primary prevention involves activities that reduce the possibility of the disease from happening. It requires attention and carefulness in the process of controlling the risk factors such as high blood pressure through living healthy lifestyles such as regular exercise, lowering of alcohol intake, lowering smoking and avoiding head injuries (Souery & Bishop17). The secondary interventions include the efforts to detect the disease at an earlier stage and then prevented from spreading it from causing more damages to the body. Early detection allows people to control the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease from worsening and becoming out of control. For instance, the initial screening is a secondary measure of the spread of the disease. Tertiary intervention puts more emphasizes on the reduction of the adverse effects of Alzheimer’s disease. It involves processes that reduce the complications of the disease to the body (Souery &Bishop19). People are given medical counseling, put in memory loss programs and physical therapy to minimize the adverse effects of the disease
However, in the broad spectrum of life, the best ways to control Alzheimer’s disease is educating people on healthy lifestyles (Snyder 522). For instance, it is essential to influence policy and legislation, fostering coalitions and networks, changing organizational practices, training providers, providing public education and also enhancing personal skills and knowledge (Snyder 524). The process of influencing policies through legislation promotes the development of strategies and laws that transform the outcome of the disease to the advantage of the public. It is, therefore, critical for the American government through the federal and state governments to devote more resources to formulate policies and strategies to prevent Alzheimer’s disorder (Snyder 525). There is a need to cover more American people with Alzheimer’s disease in the universal health coverage plan. The government should also create platforms of the provision of public education as well as the creation of effective infrastructures to confront the adverse social and economic impacts of Alzheimer’s disease. The states should also special places to train people on the behavioral risks of Alzheimer’s disease while also meeting the needs of the affected people
The change of organizational practices comprises the means of implementing regulations to reshape the norms to bring about improved care to the affected people (Snyder 526). The American department for social services established five essential rules for the states to follow and reduce the cases of Alzheimer’s disease: eligibility standards for relief care services, the basis for priority in receiving care services, training services for the Alzheimer’s disease, provision of reimbursements, services limits as well as costs. The fostering of coalition and networks refers to how individuals and groups can provide opportunities for better goals (Snyder 526). For instance, ACT-AD should seek current opportunities to accelerate the establishment of treatment measures to slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s disease (Snyder 527). The promotion of community education involves reaching out to resourceful people with the required information to provide safety to the public. Community education can be provided free by the business community, churches, and NGOs. Community education entails treatment research, care options, financial resources, and stress management (Snyder 528). These levels provide critical output to the management of Alzheimer’s disease. People need to be aware of the existence of the programs of Alzheimer disease.
The strengthening of individual knowledge and skills refers to the enhancement of people’s capability on a personal capacity to prevent injury and illness while also promoting safety (Snyder 528). It is also important to know that the cost of treatment for the Alzheimer’s disease is essential especially from the economic and public health perspectives. For instance, the cost for treating the Alzheimer’s disease around the world is at $315 hence making it the third most expensive disease to manage in the U.S. there are so many factors that triggers the high cost of the illness (Snyder 529). For example, the longer the disease progresses, the higher the costs associated with it. It is the reason why people should attend regular checkups to identify the symptoms at the earliest stages where it is easy to manage. However, the therapies and incubators for the management of Alzheimer’s disease are expensive (Snyder 530). The pharmacological measures are also cost-effective because they provide the opportunity to lessen the rate of hospitalization. It is the hospitalization that leads to high costs in the management of Alzheimer’s illness.
Since there is insufficient information on Alzheimer’s disease, public health intervention programs have been implemented to help in management and control of Alzheimer’s disease as it is through awareness that people might identify the signs and symptoms at an early stage. (Alzheimer’s Association 367). For instance, the Alzheimer’s association that intends to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through improvement of research and educating the communities to understand the disease. (Alzheimer’s Association 368). The association helps to identify and manage the patients who have Alzheimer’s disease (Snyder 531). It also does a campaign to ensure the funding of public interventions to reduce Alzheimer’s disease. There is also the Alzheimer’s prevention program that serves as a hub for clinical experiments for drugs (Alzheimer’s Association 381). The Alzheimer’s prevention program has helped to establish about fifty drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, these drugs worked in animals but failed to work in human beings perhaps due to the advanced nature and biological differences of human beings.
There is also an Alzheimer’s disease prevention initiative (ADPI) (Snyder & Heather 531). They conduct studies and try to translate relevant information to the public to enable them to understand the disease better. They have also helped to identify different risks factors connected to Alzheimer’s disease (Snyder 532). The world health organization response to Alzheimer’s disease is a global program that spreads awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. The goal of the world health organization is to support individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and caregivers. The organization considered Alzheimer’s disease a priority and organized the global action against Alzheimer’s disease in 2015. They provide awareness and highlight the concerns of people living with the disease by emphasizing on the need for globally coordinated efforts against the disease.
The Healthy People 2020 organization aims to prevent Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the number of people aged 65 years suffering from the disease and also reduce the high number of hospitalization among the aged (Snyder 532). It is, therefore, vital to know that the Healthy People 2020 aims to reduce the morbidity and costs associated with Alzheimer’s disease while also enhancing the high quality of life among the person’s living with the disease. They also intend to reduce the high cases of Alzheimer’s disease by encouraging people to attend screening programs for early diagnosis
In conclusion, therefore, to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there is a need to create public awareness. The only practical way to reduce the spread of Alzheimer’s disease is public awareness because most of the risk factors can be eliminated through better lifestyles. There is a need to create public awareness among the aged to go for regular checkups to detect the disease at the early stages to reduce the adverse impacts associated with the severe stages.
Alzheimer’s Association.”2018 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures.” Alzheimer’s & Dementia 14.3 (2018): 367-429.
Alzheimer’s Disease.”Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015. Accessed on March 27, 2019.
Snyder, Heather M., et al. “Alzheimer’s disease public-private partnerships: Update 2017.” (2018): Research Gate 14 (4). 522-532.
Souery, Whitney N., and Corey J. Bishop. “Clinically Advancing and Promising Polymer-based Therapeutics.” Acta biomaterialia 67 (2018): 1-20.