Alzheimer's Disease Proteins

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Alzheimer's Disease Proteins

Alzheimer's Disease Proteins Background

Definition of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most-common form of dementia in individuals over the age of 65. All forms of dementia result in memory loss, impaired judgment and functioning, and subsequent behavioral and personality changes, but the pathologic changes in brain structure vary by the type of dementia, as does the progression of, and prognosis, for the disease. Creative Biomart provides kinds of molecular tools for Alzheimer’s disease research applications.

Research on AD has demonstrated significant anatomical aberrations, as well as characteristic changes at the cellular level. The brain of an individual who suffered from advanced AD is withered and contracted relative to a normal brain. These gross anatomical findings are due to nerve cell death, and a corresponding loss of tissue, and are evident throughout the brain. The wasting is particularly severe in the hippocampus, that region of the brain responsible for memory formation. Microscopic examination reveals abnormal formations, termed plaques and tangles, which appear to be tied to nerve cell death; however, no conclusive evidence yet exists to specify the exact mechanisms responsible for brain cell death and the progression of AD. Plaques are abnormal clusters of beta-amyloid protein fragments that are theorized to block the synapses that permit the chemical transfer of information from one neuron to the next. Plaques are also thought to trigger the immune system to attack, destroy, and consume the afflicted cells. Tangles occur when tau proteins, which normally lie in parallel lines to act as a conveyor system for cell nutrients, collapse and twist. This collapse interrupts nutrient transport and, therefore, the resulting tangles are also implicated in brain cell death.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are drug and non-drug treatments that assist with cognitive and behavioral symptoms and slow the rate of decline. Aricept, Exelon, and Razadyne are cholinesterase inhibitors that slow the progression of AD in individuals with early and moderate stage AD. Vitamin E is sometimes prescribed because it has been shown to postpone decline in the ability to perform activities of daily living in AD sufferers. The Alzheimer’s Association (2014c) stated that non-drug therapies include practitioner’s examination of patient’s behavioral changes, in addition to, training to implement coping strategies to manage behavioral changes of individuals with AD. The non-drug approach helps practitioners manage behavior symptoms to promote emotional and physical comfort for suffers with a primary goal of identifying and addressing the needs of the affected individuals in expressing themselves as AD progresses.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) accounts for 70% of all dementia cases in the United States and is the sixth leading cause of death among the elderly (AA, 2014a; CDC, 2013). In 2014, there were 5.2 million individuals with AD, about 200,000 of whom were under the age of 65 (Alzheimer’s Association, 2014a). This degenerative chronic disease affects all races and nationalities, but the prevalence of AD is increasing among African Americans. The prevalence of AD affects 88% of elderly African Americans and 44% elderly Caucasians within all age groups. Individual’s ages 75-84 years have a higher proportion of AD with those 85 plus years following with the next highest proportion.

AD is the primary cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. The currently accepted risk factors for AD are advancing age, genetic predisposition, brain-related cardiovascular disease, traumatic brain injury, social isolation, and a lack of activity or cognitive reserve. Female’s longevity puts the group at greater risk due to advance aging. Modifiable risk factors of poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking increases risks for cardiovascular disease which ultimately increases a person’s risk for developing AD. Age is considered the main risk factor, in addition to, gender and heredity influencing the risk for the development of AD.

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