Alzheimer’s disease affects as many as 4 million Americans. It can affect almost any age but still is more common in the ederly. As ageing population continues to increase, so does the disease. Today, 3% of the people ages 65 to 75 have alzheimer’s, 10% of those aged 75 to 85 have alzheimer’s and half the age 85 may have it to. Without a new cure it is estimated that alzheimers will affect over 14 million people by 2050.
This resulted in medications being approved which could treat the symptoms of the disease. What causes Alzheimer’s The causes of Alzheimer’s aren’t fully understood yet, but research shows that it is related to plaque and threads of the tau protein twisting. Brain cells depend on these as a transport system to carry nutrients around and through the brain. Scientists also believe that the brain gets affected by a combination of lifestyle, genetic and environmental factors over time. These factors can kill brain cells and in time brain shrinkage occurs.
This could relentlessly strain health-care systems because the Disease is so persistent, disabling, and costly. Based on postmortem examinations of remaining brain tissues in Alzheimer’s patients, Amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles are the two main characteristics involved with Alzheimer’s disease. (5) Amyloid-B is a protein that accumulates on the inside and outside of neurons. High levels of amyloid proteins damage axons and dendrites. (3) These damaged axons and dendrites cluster into structures called amyloid plaques, which begin to form before any behavioral symptoms appear (3).
Alzheimer’s disease is described as a progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s memory and clarity to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate, and carry out daily life. (r.1) Alzheimer’s is a disturbing disease affecting millions of elderly people. A person’s risk for the disease is fifty-percent when they reach the age of eighty-five. (r.1) Scientists have been studying the disease for many years now in hope to find answers to a cure for this depressive disease. The disease is persistently being studied with the hope of cures, and a better understanding of how one person can conquer Alzheimer’s disease.
One of these abnormalities is plaques that clump up, a protein called beta-amyloid which damages and destroys brain cells. In patients with Alzheimer’s the plaques created interfere with cell to cell communication. The other abnormality seen is tangles in the brain. Brain cells depend on an internal support and transport system to carry nutrients and other essential materials throughout their long extensions. This system requires the normal structure and functioning of a protein called tau.
It is a very serious disease that has many effects and requires specific medical care. The disease does not yet have a viable cure, but there are methods to help those with the ailment on top of those who are searching for a cure to this disease. Alzheimer's currently effects 5.4 million people, of the age of 65 or older, in America alone. This means that an astounding 1/8 percent of America’s elderly population is effected by this disease. It is estimated that in a mere 36 years the amount of people effected from this disease will increase from 13 to somewhere between 24 through 29 percent.
One theory regarding the cause of Alzheimer’s disease suggests that this plaque forms because the processes that normally operate to clear away this protein have become defective. Neurofibillary tangles are skeins of another abnormal protein, but the tangle is found inside the nerve cells. The reason why the tangles develop is not known, but the normal processing of protein by the cell seems to be disrupted. These tangles choke the nerve cells and prevent them for working properly. For reasons not well understood, these plaques and tangles take over healthy brain tissue, which devastates the areas of the brain associated with intellectual function.
Too much beta-amyloid is toxic and causes plaque buildup between neurons that reduces levels of acetylcholine which makes is difficult to retrieve old memories and make new ones (Marieb and Hoehn 2013). Another abnormality of Alzheimer’s disease is the presence of neurofibrillary tangles inside the neuron. These tangles consist of tau, a protein that leaves its stabilizing role and binds to another tau molecule forming a neurofibrillary tangle. (Marieb and Hoehn 2013). Neurofibrillary tangles then kill the neuron.
This disease makes it very difficult for older people to go on with their daily routines. People with rare genetic changes that virtually guarantee they will develop Alzheimer’s often begin experiencing symptoms while they are in his or her 40s and 50s (Thies 2012). When people think of Alzheimer’s they often think of memory loss and an exaggeration of normal aging, which is not true. Alzheimer’s disease is more than just a disease of old age and memory failure. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.
Given that the symptoms of AD are caused by plaque in the brain, causing loss of nerve cells that help the body communicate with the brain, mutations to these genes; amyloid precursor protein, presenilin 1, and presenilin 2 cause a excessive production of certain proteins (primarily a B-42 form of amyloid protein), and therefore spark an excessive growth of plaque cells which are toxic to the neurons of the brain. For those cases of Alzheimer’s that occur after age 65, a genetic mutation has yet to be proven, although some may be linked, to the fact that a difference may cause an increased chance of developing the ailment. Whatever the case may be for patients over 65 years old, the disease and its symptoms are caused by neurofibrillary tangles of almyloid plaques. It is impossible for someone to test positive for Alzheimer’s Disease, because the only way to determine an affirmative case i... ... middle of paper ... ...t one has it. Many scientists hypothesize that there is an inflammatory response in the brain when there is an extensive B-42 amassing.