http://www. nia. nih. gov/Alzheimers/Resources/images. htm I just passed out a blank card to everyone I would like you to draw an analog clock that reads the time 4:45, hang on to this piece of paper and I’ll explain it a little bit later. You might be wondering why there is a picture of an elderly woman on the screen. Well, that lovely old woman Is my grandmom and she was formally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease about 6 years ago, she was my inspiration for this speech . Mayo Clinic defines Alzheimer’s to be a disease that causes brain changes that gradually get worse.
Alzheimers is the most common cause of dementia dementia is a group of brain disorders that cause progressive loss of intellectual and social skills, severe enough to interfere with day-to-day life. There are 2 types of Alzheimer’s, the most common is called late onset alzheimers which symptoms of the disease emerge after age 65, the other is called early onset alzheimers, this occurs in a small amount of people who develop the disease in their 30s 40’s and 50s When a person has Alzheimers the brain slowly loses its ability to make and retrieve memories and process information.
A friend’s name that was once familiar now eludes them, a recipie that they used to make all the time now is impossible to remember, family members names are and even a spouces face are forgotten. Mood and personality changes can also occur, most of the time you will notice increased anxiety or agression.. although sometimes you will notice that person become more introverted and quiet eventually this DZ makes it impossible for people to exist without the help of others. That help often comes from the family members or an assisted living facility
An easy way to explain this dz is to think about an old light bulb in a lamp, in the beginning its on.. then sometimes it flickers until eventually it is off. So what exactly is going on in the brain that causes it to flicker and finally turn off? The brain works by sending signals. Chemical messengers called neurotransmitters allow the brain to communicate with each other. People with Alzheimer’s have a decreased amount of neurotransmitters, they also develop deposits of plaques and the fibers in the brain begin to tangle. This prevents the cells from working properly.
Over time the brain begins to shrink and all of these factors put together cause a steady decline in memory and mental function. Earlier I had you draw a clock showing the time 4:45 on it. This is actually one of the many tests that are administered to people who are suspected to have Alzheimer’s. There is no specific test for Alzheimers the only way the dz can be diagnosed with complete accuracy is after the person has died and a microscopic examination of the brain reveals the characteristic plaques and tangles that I talked about earlier With that in mind, Hopefully the clock you drew looks like this (picture of clock on screen).
For a person who is believed to be suffering with Alzheimer’s their clock looks something like this. This picture actually shows you the progession of someone with Alzheimers, you can see that the first clock is correct and as time goes on the image becomes more disorted. When my grandmom was diagnosed with alzheimers I didnt think much of it, I thought that she could just take some medicine and she would get better but Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country and the only cause of death mong the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed There are just drugs to help cope with the secondary aspects of alzheimers like becoming anxious or nervous. Alzheimer’s disease has no survivors. It destroys brain cells and causes memory changes, erratic behaviors and loss of body functions. It slowly and painfully takes away a person’s identity, ability to connect with others, think, eat, talk, walk and find his or her way home. This DZ is something that is close to my heart and i would just like to thank you all for listening.