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Research Paper On Alzheimer's Disease

699 words - 3 pages

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of the brain wherein a person afflicted with the said disease would have compromised cognition and memory skills, and eventual deterioration of the skill to execute uncomplicated activities. According to experts, most individuals do not manifest the symptoms for Alzheimer’s disease until they are over the age of 60. This disease affects more than 5.1 million Americans.

Alzheimer’s disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer who first discovered deviations from normal tissues of healthy individuals in the brain tissue of a lady in 1906. The woman, who showed symptoms of erratic behavior, loss of memory, and problems with ...view middle of the document...

One type of β-amyloid protein is more detrimental than the rest—the 42-amino acid chain is significantly stickier than the other amino acid chain lengths, making it more likely to coagulate. Scientists theorize that there might be a problem in the overproduction of β-amyloid 42 or with the method in which it is removed from the brain or possibly both.

The accumulation of plaque blocks the transmission of impulses from nerve cell to nerve cell. Tangles may also form because of the overproduction of β-amyloid proteins. Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) are made up of hyperphosphorylated tau proteins. Tau proteins steady microtubules keeping them straight and untangled. They are mostly found in neurons. When tau proteins mutate, they become hyperphosphorylated tau proteins. These hyperphosphorylated tau proteins clump together and form insoluble chunks, thereby disturbing normal nerve cell functions. The irreversible effects of this may lead to eventual cell death.

The brains of people afflicted with AD shrink because of the death of many nerve cells. Shrinkage is especially acute in the hippocampus, where new memories are formed. There is also shrinkage in the cortex, an area of the brain...

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