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Chronic Dieases

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Submitted By nayblake
Words 927
Pages 4
Individual Paper: Chronic Diseases
Dene M. Blakely
July 25, 2011

Cognitive decline and memory loss are considered a normal function of aging by millions of people; especially with older generation. The term cognition simply refers to the ability to think. Therefore the word term cognitive decline simply refers to the concept of a decrease in the ability to think. According to Head Strong Web Site, “Cognitive decline is deterioration in cognitive function. There is a normal process of age related cognitive decline across the life-span characterized by increasing difficulties with memory (new learning) speed of information processing, language and other cognitive functions” (Head Strong, 2011). In this paper, we will explore in dept with cognitive decline, the risk factors associate with the disease, and treatments or approaches in coping with the disease.

Description of Cognitive Decline

Cognitive decline is a disease that decreases an individual ability to think. The disease is commonly found in older generations, after 70 years old. On the other hand, in a recent study, study indicates that cognitive decline can begins in late 20s. According to Science Daily Web Site, "This research suggests that some aspects of age-related cognitive decline begin in healthy, educated adults when they are in their 20s and 30s," said Timothy Salthouse, a University of Virginia professor of psychology and the study's lead investigator.” (Science Daily, 2009).

Mild cognitive decline is more common than dementia and begins at an early age. “Mild cognitive is an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more pronounced decline of dementia.” (Mayo Clinic, 2010). With mild cognitive, the disease involves problems that affect an individual’s memory, language, thinking and judgment. Individuals that show signs mild cognitive impairment often are at greater risk in later developing dementia, which include Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to mild cognitive, there is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is one form of dementia that gradually gets worse over time. Alzheimer’s disease affects an individual’s memory, thinking, and behavior ability. Additionally, the disease also affects an individual’s language ability, decision-making ability, judgment, and personality (Pub Med Health, 2010).

Risk Factors

With mild cognitive disease, there are many risk factors that contribute to this disease. According to Mayo Clinic Web Site, the strongest factors contribute to this disease consists of increasing age and having a specific form of a gene. (Mayo Clinic, 2010). Although these strongest factors does plays a larger role in contributing to the disease; however it does not signify that an individual is not prone to getting the disease because he or she does not possess either one of the strongest risk factors. There are evidences showing a correlation that small risk factors consisting of other medical conditions and lifestyle can as well contributes to the disease. Small risk factors consist of diabetes, smoking, depression, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, lack of physical exercise, and infrequent participation in mentally or socially stimulating activities (Mayo Clinic, 2010).

As for Alzheimer’s disease, there are many risk factors that contribute to this disease. Among the many factors that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, the main contributors to the disease are age and family history. According to Pub Med Health Web Site, “As you get older, your risk of developing AD goes up. However, developing Alzheimer’s disease is not a part of normal aging. Having a close blood relative, such as a brother, sister, or parent who developed AD increases your risk. Having certain combination of genes for proteins that appear to be abnormal in Alzheimer’s disease also increases your risk.” (Pub Med Health, 2010).

Coping Approaches and Treatment

Adapting to life’s changes in dealing with any diseases is a continuous process where an individual is put to the challenge every day, learning to adapt to current and new situations that arise, and learning to accept that what’s happening is not a dream, but it’s a reality. It can be quite difficult and challenging for individuals that have the disease. Additionally, the process can also be quite difficult and challenging for the individuals’ families and love ones as well.

With any diseases like mild cognitive and Alzheimer, the best coping approaches or treatment for both the patient and their family members is gain knowledge and understanding of the disease(s). When individuals do not have the knowledge and understanding of the disease(s), it can relatively difficult for them to know comprehend what’s going to happen, what is expected to happen, and when is expected to happen. As a result, many would feel frustrated that they feel as if they are a burden to their loves ones or their loves ones does not know what to do to help their love one enduring the pain to be at ease.

Other coping approaches or treatments with these disease consists of allowing or creating a friendly environment for the individual with the diseases, taking care of oneself emotionally by giving the individual lots of loves and supports, counseling, therapist, learning to adapt to new lifestyle changes, and taking one day at a time (Help Guide, 2011).


Help Guide. (2011). Understanding Dementia. Help Guide Organization. Retrieved from

Science Daily. (2009). Cognitive Decline Begins in Late 20s, Study Suggests. Science Daily. Retrieved from

Pub Med Health. (2010). Alzheimer’s Disease. Pub Med Health. Retrieved from

Mayo Clinic. (2010). Risk Factors. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from…...

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