in the Brain
For hundreds of years, the symptoms of what we now know as Alzheimer's disease were attributed to senility and old age, or perhaps in more recent times they were attributed to hardening of the arteries and psychosis. In the past, people feared that one day, just because they were old, they would “go crazy, ” lose their memory, and become completely helpless without ever knowing why. With the identification of Alzheimer's disease, however, it has become possible to properly diagnose persons suffering from this illness and to at least partially alleviate their suffering. The next step, at which medical researchers currently are at work, is to isolate the exact biological causes of the disease. Once these causes are known, we can begin to develop effective treatments for Alzheimer's and perhaps someday find a complete cure.
The next two chapters of this book offer a look at the research done to date on both the causes and treatment of Alzheimer's. This research has revealed physical and chemical changes present in brains affected by Alzheimer's, suggested possible causes of the disease, and included experiments with promising treatments.
Because the research leaves many questions unanswered, most of the material covered here must remain somewhat speculative. Although a great deal has been learned to date, no definitive answer to the mysteries posed by Alzheimer's disease has been found. The research findings are valuable, however, because they allow caregivers to understand more fully the changes occurring within the Alzheimer's patient. In addition, the very real progress gives hope that medicaI research will lead us to a clear-cut strategy for the disease's treatment and prevention.
The final chapter covers the use of current medications used in treating
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Publication information: Book title: Alzheimer's: A Caregiver's Guide and Sourcebook. Contributors: Howard M.Ed. Gruetzner - Author. Publisher: Wiley. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2001. Page number: 239.
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