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Research paper topic: Alzheimer's: Is There A Cure - 1058 words
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.. y, 2001). Johnson & Johnson say that the drug will be available starting in May. Another approach to finding a cure for Alzheimer's Disease is finding something that will block molecules that are possibly responsible for the disease. Bob Vassar designed and implemented an ingenious method for isolating the gene for an enzyme called beta-secretase, which is found to be a key culprit in the disease (Garber, 2001).
While other drugs that are approved only improve the functions of those with the disease, this method could actually stop the progression, not just slow it down. There are some drawbacks to this method. What is not known about the enzyme beta-secretase, though seemingly linked to human development and cell division, is what the enzyme's normal function in the body is. By blocking it could conceivably cause anything from hair loss to psychosis (Garber, 2001). Finding an inhibitor for this enzyme will not happen overnight, but it is possible to see a drug on the market in the next ten years.
Right now there are some drugs on the market that have been approved by the Federal Drug Administration. One of these is the drug Aricept, which is said to help treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease such as confusion or memory loss. Another drug that has been approved is Exelon. It is also shown to help with the improvement of memory and cognitive functioning. There are studies continually being done on things such as aspirin, vitamin E, estrogen, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and nerve growth factor (Bolla, Filley, & Palmer, 2000). With all the research that is continually being done, my feeling is that the "cure" from a social standpoint lies in how we treat those dealing with the disease.
It is easy for those who don't understand this form of dementia to look at those suffering in a belittling way. We need to remember that they are still people with real feelings. In visiting the many nursing homes searching for the right one for my grandmother, we ran across many different environments that were created for dementia patients. Some places had set-ups where they were sectioned off completely from the rest of the nursing home. They only ate and interacted with others suffering from dementia.
I think one of the problems with this type of design is that the patient is taken away from the type of living that they were used to before the onset of their disease. It would be a hard transition to make moving from possibly their own home to a place where it seemed they were almost secluded to a dementia patients' way of life. The one common characteristic of all the places we were was that it seemed that all of the staff working with the dementia patients had been trained and understood how to treat the patients without being belittling. They all seemed very understanding of the different emotions, outbursts, and dispositions of the patients. I think that communities that have nursing homes in them or near them should definitely be aware in just the same way that those on staff were of how to treat an Alzheimer's patient.
If there were a greater understanding of what these people were going through and how to communicate with them, then I think it would make the lives of those involved with Alzheimer's much easier. One step communities could take is to start programs in schools where students are taught and even exposed to the different diseases and conditions the elderly suffer from. Volunteering at nursing homes is one of the best ways to be exposed to the elderly and their lives. As a volunteer you are not necessarily playing a professional role, rather, you are playing the role of a friend to the patients. Volunteering could be at different levels, such as helping with or planning activities, taking in baked goods, flowers, or other things for their rooms, or even just visiting with them one-on-one on a regular basis (Bell & Troxel, 1997).
Another aspect of social change is what we as Christians can do, and how we should treat those suffering. As the elements of memory, personality, and the ability to think things through begin to slip away, the person needs fellow travelers that can share the journey and offer guidance along the road. We as fellow Christians should be that fellow traveler. Other illnesses that have no cure take away not only a person's present but also the future they were looking to have. With Alzheimer's disease the person is not only robbed of the present and the future, but also of their past.
The loss of memories can have an extreme effect on the person's religious life. They may not be able to longer recall Bible verses or passages. They may not remember what Christmas or Easter is about. They may not even be able to remember accepting Jesus Christ as their savior and what that acceptance means. I think it is important to emphasize to those suffering that even though we as humans forget, God does not. As fellow Christians we should take the time to spend time with those we know who are suffering.
We can read the Bible to them, talk about things that happen in church, and be a constant reminder to them of what it is to be a Christian. I can remember when my grandmother would lose her temper, she would swear on occasion, something that she would never had done in front of anyone before. Rather than just telling her not to swear, my parents would always try and remind her that God would not like to hear her talk like that. Her responses would vary, but most of the time it would calm her down because I think part of her could remember that she didn't want to act that way. So, is there a cure for Alzheimer's disease today? I would say yes and no.
No, because scientists are still looking for the one drug that will put a stop to this debilitating disease. I think yes, because we all have to power to "heal" within us. A simple visit, card, or outreach of some kind is guaranteed to put a smile on a suffering person's face. Alzheimer's patients are no different. Remember that they too have feeling just the same as you do. Medicine Essays.
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