Alzheimer's Disease Essay

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This is the most common form of Alzheimer's disease, accounting for about 90% of cases, and usually occurs after age 65. Finally, Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD) is the form of Alzheimer’s that is known to be completely inherited. It is evidenced in affected families were two or more generations have had Alzheimer’s. FAD is extremely rare, however, accounting for 1% of all recorded Alzheimer’s cases. FAD is early-onset as well, occurring at the years of 40 to 50, but it isn’t entirely uncommon to see those diagnosed with it to be in their 30s. Mutations in chromosomes 1, 14 or 21 occur in 50 percent of next-generation offspring. Many diseases have specific causes, for example a virus causes measles. However, the causes for chronic conditions such as dementia are uncertain and harder to identify. However, scientists have developed various hypotheses that are currently being tested for validation as a cause of Alzheimer’s. The best-known explanation, the amyloid cascade hypothesis proposes that all the brain abnormalities seen in this condition are a consequence of the accumulation of the protein beta amyloid. As Aβ accumulates, the toxic oligomers accumulate as well. This accumulating oligomers cause the abnormal changes found in the Alzheimer’s brain. However, even if there is no question that Aβ accumulates and that this precedes the development of the plaques and seemingly also of the tangles, this view is being re-examined because some research findings have shown that the accumulations of the plaques and tangles occur independently of each other. (Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures Report, 2014) Since the cause for Alzheimer’s is unknown, scientists have isolated factors that can be linked to the development of the disease. Som... ... middle of paper ... ...a reliable, valid, and inexpensive diagnostic test that can be used in any doctor’s office. A very promising test that is being tested involves checking the CSF for the tau proteins and beta amyloid, which as described before, are found in people afflicted with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is incurable and there is no current treatment that stops it from progressing. People with the disease slowly lose memory and the ability to do daily tasks. Researchers are still trying to understand how Alzheimer’s leads to loss of cognitive functions, behavioral, and psychiatric symptoms and how to reverse those changes to prevent or stop the disease. Treatments are prescribed by physicians to help manage symptoms for a limited time. As the disease progresses however, symptoms change over time, so doctors need to adjust their Alzheimer’s patients’ therapies as new problems appear.

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