This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Role Of Genetics In Alzheimer's Disease

3008 words - 12 pages

The Role of Genetics in Alzheimer's Disease

The call came at 9:05 p.m. on January 20, 2004. Mom had just finished telling the news about the girl's grandfather. He had Alzheimer's Disease and was not doing well at all. The ruling was that he probably would not make it through the night. She knew exactly what the news was the moment her mom said, "No." After the news came, the decision was made they would leave the next day to attend the funeral.

This girl began wondering, "If grandpa had Alzheimer's do I have a chance of getting it too? What can I do to avoid getting it? He suffered so much, I don't want to go through that." What if a person's genetics have something to do with whether or not they will get Alzheimer's? What are possible ways to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease? Genetics might have something to do with whether or not one will get Alzheimer's but their chances of avoiding the disease are better if they take care of themselves.

Let us start with some general history and facts and then proceed to the specifics. Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is named after a German doctor, Alois Alzheimer. He discovered the disease in 1906, while doing an autopsy on a woman who had died from an unusual mental illness. Dr. Alzheimer noted unique changes in the brain tissue (U.S 1995). His findings included clumps, which are also known as plaques, and tangled fibers, also called neurofibrillary tangles. These findings have become "hallmarks of AD" (U.S. 1995). AD is now considered the most common form of dementia (Travis).

Researchers from New York State did autopsies on 87 people who were seen at a dementia clinic to find out if any of them showed signs of a cerebrovascular disease. They all did and 87% of them also had Alzheimer's Disease (Nolan). According to Michael D. Lemonick of Time Magazine, three and a half million Americans have Alzheimer's. If you multiply that number by five you will get the approximate number of people worldwide with the disease. What Americans spend annually in healthcare costs for their family and friends with AD equals $24.6 billion (Drug Week, Company...). The ages that are primarily affected are those 65 and older; however, people that are younger than 50 can develop the disease (Shenk, p30-31).

Many of the people with Alzheimer's Disease will be misdiagnosed or have to wait two to four years after they start experiencing symptoms before they will officially be diagnosed, according to Nancy MacDonald, PhD (Drug Week, Failure...). Studies have shown that genetics play some sort of role in the development of Alzheimer's, but exactly what their role is has not yet been determined. Since Alzheimer's disease is not the result of one single gene, sometimes a person may have to get a deformed gene from both of their parents in order to get Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists believed in 1995 that there was a genetic influence in over half the cases of Alzheimer's disease. The gene scientists are giving...

Find Another Essay On The Role of Genetics in Alzheimer's Disease

The causes and effects of alzheimer's disease

915 words - 4 pages The cause of Alzheimer's is the slowly progressing destruction of nerve cells in the brain. In reality it is natural to loose a certain number of nerve cells during ageing but this loss occurs much more rapidly in people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. As a result the brain of the patient does not function normally. In some cases the disease is caused by genetic mutations. In these cases symptoms usually occur before the age of 60 and take

The Role of Genetics on Development

883 words - 4 pages mental health. There are a number of genetic/ chromosomal disorders such as sickle cell disease, Tay Sachs Disease, Huntington’s disease, Turner syndrome and Down syndrome. There is also evidence that genetics contributes to depression, autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other metal disorders. In addition, genetics plays a role in determining the physical make up, psychological make up and mental make up of a child and that is why at times

Clinical depression: The role of genetics

1026 words - 4 pages family hassuffered from depression, mental illness, chemical dependency, or attention deficithyperactivity disorder, chances of getting depression are much greater. An early studyconducted by Dr. R.J. Cadoret showed that the role of genetics was clearly indicated byconcordance in monozygotic and dizygotic twins, and the correlation between adoptedpersons and their biologic relatives. Further studies of twins with depressive illnesseshave

Alzheimer's Disease, "The Disease of the Century". 7 page paper on the history, causes, effects and research on the disease. Includes citation in apa format

1470 words - 6 pages As a new era dawns upon us many people find themselves asking the question; "What is Alzheimer's Disease?" Alzheimer's Disease today affects almost all people in some way. Since the amount of lives this disease affects continues to increase epidemiologists have named Alzheimer's Disease, "The Disease of the Century".In 1906 a German neurologist Alois Alzheimer performed a neurological autopsy on a 56-year-old woman who had suffered deteriorating

Genetics And Progeria: The Disease Of Premature Aging

1605 words - 7 pages PAGE PAGE 6 Genetics and Progeria Genetics and ProgeriaThe Disease of Premature AgingTeam CWinston McCaneMonica KrugRobert NovakJeffrey Schneider (FAC)December 15, 2004Genetics and Progeria; The Disease of Premature AgingGenetics has made some fantastic advances recently in science. For all that wehave learned, we still haven't found the answers to everything. The last three or four decades have witnessed an unquestionable revolution occurring

Alzheimer's and the effects. This is a informative piece of writing explaining Alzheimer's and the effects of the disease

525 words - 2 pages directions. Eventually, people with Alzheimer's become unable to care for themselves.Scientists still don't know what causes the disease. Age and family history are possible risk factors for the disease. Scientists are exploring the role of genetics in the development of Alzheimer's, studying chromosome 19. Rarer forms of the disease, which happen to people in their 30's and 40's, called "early-onset," often run within families and appear to be

The Role of Vitamin D in Liver Disease

898 words - 4 pages Over the years, the role of vitamin D in chronic liver disease has been studied by many scientists. Some research shows that chronic liver disease leads to vitamin D deficiency but many studies also show that low vitamin D levels may lead to liver disease. What is Vitamin D? Vitamin D is a fat-soluble substance that is synthesized in the skin during exposure to sunlight. This is why it is often called the sunshine vitamin. Although it is

The Role of Polyglutamine Expansions in Huntington’s Disease

1267 words - 5 pages Disease. Accumulated aggregation interferes with neuron function due to misfolded fragments; this is known as protein aggregation. Heat-shock protein 70 (Hsp70) and heat-shock protein (Hsp40) are the two main forms of a molecular chaperone, they are involved in maintenance of a polypeptide in its state also, has an important role during the folding process. From studies conducted it has been shown that Hsp70 and Hsp40 (from the chaperone family

Cause, Pathology and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

738 words - 3 pages Cause, Pathology and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease Growing up in the 80's I remember my mother questioning President Reagan's politics, policies, morality, and even his sanity. Though I would not wish a debilitating disease on anyone, I had to laugh at the irony when I heard Reagan had Alzheimer's Disease(AD). To think that his "I do not recall" line during the Contra scandal may have been true! The idea of the President of

Mechanism of disease: Genetics X Clicics

693 words - 3 pages Mechanisms of diseaseThaisa CantuThe development of molecular genetics has brought about important changes in the knowledge of physiopathology of the disease, modifying the criteria for diagnosis and treatment and presenting the physician with new concepts. The greatest point of discussion between the articles is about the importance that is given to genetics and if it worth to substitute the clinical researches for genetic ones.Defining Disease

Should everyone over 65 be screened for Alzheimer's disease in the UK?

1000 words - 4 pages What is Alzheimer’s disease? Alzheimer's disease, discovered by German neurologist Alois Alzheimer, is the most common form of dementia and affects approximately 496,000 people in the UK. In the early stages of the disease sufferers experience lapses of memory and have problems finding the correct words. As the disease progresses they may suffer from confusion and frequent forgetfulness, mood swings and frustration of their increasing memory

Similar Essays

The Role Of Gamma Secretase In Alzheimer's Disease

1124 words - 4 pages . Secretase suggests that the proteolytic purpose of these enzymes is related with the excretion of their cleavage products. The amyloid plaques are continually found in the extracellular space. AD can take altered forms of the disease 5-10% can take the familial forms of the disease acknowledged as hereditary forms of AD. Mutations connected with familial AD (FAD) recognized in the two presenilin (PS) genes PS1 and PS2, with the bulk being situated

The Cause Of Alzheimer's Disease Essay

1806 words - 7 pages most often in the elderly, but can still occur in younger people. Genetics is also a risk factor one to develop the disease. Even though, most cases of Alzheimer’s disease is not hereditary, the small percentage of cases are correlated with the genes that are specific to cause the inherited form of the disease. There are genetic testing available, but they are not widely available in Canada. The genetic testing is mainly available for those

The Role Of Genetics In Modern Society

1470 words - 6 pages The Role of Genetics in Modern Society Genes by definition are information we inherit from our parents, they contain chromosomal information which codes for every physical and mental attribute a human, animal or plant has. Modern society has come to realise by finding the gene that causes the illness they can remove it. They then can insert the correct gene to replace it. Genes are arranged like beads on a piece of

The Trouble Of Alzheimer's Disease Essay

1964 words - 8 pages signs of old age are often associated with slower thinking, forgetfulness, and senility. These mental signs, however, are not a “natural” sign of old age (Frank 13). They may come in a mild form, but when anything more severe they may point to a life-threatening disease. Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a degenerative disease (Shan 33) of both the mental and physical body of a person (Frank 15). It is not a new disease, on the contrary it has been