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Image 8 of Kentucky Alumnus, 1985, No. 1

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I i lzheimer's disease, a changes in the patient. He or she may Alzheimer’s patients show a very Pl dementing fatal illness, affects cry more, laugh inappropriately, or gradual, often imperceptible transition ai about seventy percent of the become angry or frustrated for no from one stage to another. lc two million Americans apparent reason. "Until we learn more about Ol suffering from dementing diseases. These indicators occur during the Alzheimer’s there is nothing we can CC There is no known cause or cure for first stage of the disease. really do for the patient, other than bl Alzheimers, and it can be positively The second stage is characterized by provide the medical attention they bl diagnosed only by autopsy. a more encompassing memory loss, need and see that their basic needs are The disease was first described by a including the long-term, as well as the taken care of," Markesbery said. "And $2 German doctor, Alois Alzheimer, in recent memory. The patient also has then we have to look at the toll the T 1907. He documented the case of a . ¤* woman in her fifties, and called the bi condition, "presenile dementia." Now, Oi both presenile dementia and senile tfi=’·· ° `=,»» ‘ tl · dementia are often referred to as » . ° ipp V »,_» 3 __»__ _ . __ y tj Alzheimer’s Disease. ` ig ‘ .. ;{ i` ...,, , ' _ _ ‘ j d "Alzheimer’s is the major medical ni _ ‘ .t»‘‘ T lv i __ ll problem in aging," said Dr. William ._ i E ""‘ up .i~»¤—i ,_- _ V _ L . C; Markesbery, director of the ·‘ _, ` \ . cl { _ — , Zpg _.T` vs Multidisciplinary Center of n . __ if lux ·. 1 ` `’ i f i ’ i ~ 0 Gerontology at the Sanders—Brown i ? . __ Q ’ ¤ » . ’ Research Center at the University. i?¥ , i rr n P "About ten years to 15 years ago, you _» . illi v i ~ If?] U ir never heard of Alzheimer's. It was n A lll XR ii.; i s = ¤ around, but it was Called different l E l Q ` il l ( d names, such as hardening of the 4 f .,,_, _ i‘ .j y I 0 arteries or it was just accepted that ` _ ' iii i‘ , 3 F- older people became senile as a matter n ‘ ra gx ` ____ ` ri 3 of course. If the victims were younger, _ , _;!, . ‘ ,, j , l ». € they were thought to be mentally il1_ .,.. . ,,., ~.—· . y __ j t Tnnn nn nn 'nnn lnnnnn nnnn n by L“?{"i“€E“iiA9®i2L°P i§°£.S;#EL%%;°€6iiiii2'P.li';.E;i§§.“€32i.%'%@2i§’€®§E2’§*“‘“ n l me l’“l?l‘° alld [he g°“"‘“l '“°d‘°"‘l El$m?1SnrliiST;rdhen serieiit cind Dovid L. Spizirks, [DA. Buiierfieldlis obsenf from photo.) k profession, it was rarely suggested as a diagnosis." periods of disorientation and his or her disease takes on the caretaker or family Y Educating the public and the medical speech may become markedly different. members providing care for the patient f profession is not such a problem wday During this phase the patient also may and see what we can do to make life l` Markesbery said. But there is still little experience extreme outbursts of anger easier for them." E hard data available about the disease and hostility. But Markesbery is optimistic about C itself. The final stage of the disease reduces the future for Alzheimer’s patients. · I "lt is suspected that Azheimer’s is the patient to a vegetative level. The "There is a great deal more research I caused by a variety of facters," patient does not recognize family, activity being directed toward finding E Markesbery said. "Research here is becomes totally withdrawn, and does the cause for Alzheimer’s than there being directed toward many areas, such not respond to his or her environment. was ten years ago," he said. "People l as the phe¤<>m¢¤<>¤ of haw iaiured They become incontineat and many are just becoming aware of what an < nerve cells affect the function of other become immobile or bedridden. international health problem it is, and l closely situated nerve cells and the Because many of the patients in the as that happens more funds will be l l possibility of an accumulation of a trace final stage are elderly, they develop allocated to research. And in this case, ' E element, such as aluminum, being other medical complications which may there are a lot of different aspects to ‘ responsible for the onset of the hasten or cause their death. examine. It will take time, but it is the ‘ disease." There is no way to predict how long only way we can learn." ‘ The first indicator of Alzheimer’s is an individual will stay in a particular Markesbery and his colleagues at the V l a consistent loss of recent memory ——— stage, said Dr. Markesbery. Some Center are involved in a variety of , l forgetting family names, for example. people plateau in the first stage, others research projects which will help in l l Other symptoms include the repetition in the second. However, he said, it deciphering the mysteries of O l of words, phrases or sentences; not appears that people who develop Alzheimers ‘ being able to remember the Alzheimer’s in their fifties or early Researehers gr rhe (jemer are i appropriate words to express oneself; sixties have a more rapid decline, while optimistic about a grant they recently i and an uncharacteristic lack of personal those who develop the disease in their received which will support about i l neatness. This period may also be late sixties or early seventies may have six different research projects related A A marked by emotional or behavorial a slower course of decline. All to Alzheimer's. The core of the r 6 UK »¤