Alzheimers and the Caregivers Health Issues

Deborah Johnson |
Alzheimers |
Caregiver Health Issues |
11/30/2010 |

The Caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s fall prey to their own health issues, and need to find their own support groups.   |

Alzheimer disease is one of the leading causes of death in the elderly.   Five million Americans have Alzheimer’s and it is expected to reach twenty million within fifty years. Alzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative brain disorder that causes memory loss, confusion, and difficulties in carrying out simple everyday tasks.  
The nerve cells in the brain are destroyed; the neurotransmitter acetylcholine breaks down causing interaction between parts of the brain to deteriorate. (Paul M. Insel, 2010) There are two types of Alzheimer disease, Early-Onset and Late-Onset. The progression of the disease is the same for both Early-Onset and Late-Onset.  
Scientists have not identified the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, but age is the chief risk factor followed by inherited gene mutations.   It is suggested the same factors associated with heart disease also applies to AD. An alteration in the protein apolipoprotein E, and the peptide Molecule amyloid-beta may also be a cause of the disease. Alzheimer’s can not be confirmed until the patient has died and an autopsy is performed.  
Patients become unable to tend to their own hygiene and can become very hostile.   Eventually the Alzheimer patient requires a care-giver, and as a result the care-giver will in turn develop their own set of problems.
Early-Onset Alzheimer disease is generally defined as occurring before 60 years of age.
There are three known gene mutations that cause early-onset Alzheimer. The first of these
genes to be identified was the amyloid precursor protein gene, located on chromosome 21.
Mutations in this gene cause excessive cleavage by the ß- and.-secretase enzymes, instead of
normal cleavage by the a-secretase enzyme. The result is...