Alzheimer’s disease research paper, Biology

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Alzheimer's  disease -  a  devastating  brain  disease  which  gradually  ruins  the  ,  thinking  skills,  patient's  memory and  ultimately  the  ability  to  perform  the  simplest  tasks  of  the  daily  life. Alzheimer's disease was named after  Dr. Alois  Alzheimer, a  German  physician . In  1906, he  observed  the  variations  in  a  dead  women's  brain  tissues, who  died  due  to  a  dementia(Alzheimer's  disease). Dementia  is  a  brain  disorder  which   severely  affects  the  patient's  ability  to  even  do  the  simple  daily  life  activities.  Alzheimer's  disease (AD)  is  the  most  ordinary  cause  of  the  dementia  in  older  people .

Alzheimer's   damages &   kills  brain  cells . The  brain  of  the  Alzheimer's  patient  diminishes  in  number  &  size  compared  to  normal , healthy  brain  cells. It  is  distinguished  by  the   development  of  amyloid  plaques  and  neurofibrillary  tangles . Amyloids  are  protein  fragments  that  a  healthy ,  normal  body  produces. In  the  normal  brain , the  fragments  are  broken  down  and  eliminated . But  in  the  brain  of  person  carrying  Alzheimer's  disease, these  fragments  heap  up  to  form  hard, indissoluble  plaques.  Neurofibrillary   tangles (NFT)  are  bundles  of  filaments   in  the  neurons  of  the  brain . NFT  forms   inside  a  cell  and  are  made  up  of  a  protein   called  tau. Amyloid  plaques  and  NFT  are  known  as  the  hallmarks  of  the Alzheimer's  disease .

 Scientists'   are  still   unsure  what  causes  this  disease . But  it  has  became  definite  that  the  complex  series  of  events  that  happens  in  the  brain  over   a  long  period  of  time  has  a  great  part  in  the  development  of  Alzheimer's  disease . It's  also   probable  that  genetic  factors , environmental  factors , and  lifestyle  factors  cooperates  in  developing  this  disease. Because  everyone's  lifestyle  and  genetic  make-up  differs  from  each  other.

 As  the  scientists  learn  more  and  more  about  Alzheimer's  disease  it's  getting   more  clear  that   the  genes  play   a  crucial  role  in  the  development   of  the  Alzheimer's   disease. There  are  two  types  of  Alzheimer's  disease. First  form  of  AD  is  early-onset  Alzheimer's   which  is  very  rare. It  occurs  in   the  people  ages  30-60 years . Most  cases  of  the  early-onset  Alzheimer's  are  inherited, it's  known  as  familial  Alzheimer's  disease (FAD).  It  can   be  caused  by  mutations  on  anyone  gene   of   chromosomes  21 , 14  and  1 inherited  from  a  parent. Mutations  in  anyone   of  the  chromosomes  causes   abnormal  proteins  to  form  which  disrupts  the  functions  of  the  body  and  can   leads  to  Alzheimer's .

Any  mutations  on  chromosome  21  forms  abnormal  amyloid  precursor   protein (APP). An  abnormal  presenilin  1  is  formed  by  the  mutation   on  chromosome 14.And  an abnormal  presenilin  2  is  formed  by  a  mutation  on  chromosome 1.Presenilin  is  a  protein  in  a  cell  membrane. These  mutations  take  apart  in  the  formation  of  harmful  forms  of  amyloid  plaques. If  any  parent  or  parents  of   a  child  carries  a  mutated  gene  for  FAD. There  is  a  50/50  chance  that  a  child  will  inherit  the  mutated  gene .And  if  he  gets  it  he  will  almost  surely  develop  FAD.

           The  second  form  of  the  AD  is  late-onset  Alzheimer's. In  most  people,  late-onset  Alzheimer's  develops  after  the  age  of  60.The  causes  of  late-onset  AD  is  not  yet  fully  understood . But it's  almost  definite  that  genetic, environmental  and  lifestyle  factors  influences  a  person's  risk  of  developing  a  disease  differently. For  some  people  these  factors  might   influence  in  decreasing  the  risk  of  developing  a  disease  and  for  some  people  in  increasing  the  risk  of  development  of  a  disease. Unlike  mutated  genes  on  the  chromosomes  responsible  for  the  early-onset  AD , researcher  didn't  considered  any  genes  on  the  chromosomes  responsible  for  late-onset  AD. Because  they   didn't  found  any  specific  gene  other  than  APOE  that  can  be  considered  responsible  to  cause   late-onset  AD. Despite, there  is   one  genetic  risk  that  seems  to  have  a  great  risk  of  developing  the  disease. Apo lipoprotein E (APOE)  gene  on  chromosome  19  has  a  great  risk  of  developing  the  disease.

             APOE  carries  all  the  instructions  for  making   proteins   that  carries  fats  in  the blood-stream. It  comes  in  several  different  types  or  alleles. For  instance, APOE e2  prevents  the  body  from  diseases. A  person  with  this  allele  can  develop  Alzheimer's  later  in  life   than  someone  who  carries  a   APOE e4  gene. And   APOE e2  is  very  rarely  found. Another   form  of  APOE   is  APOE e3, it's  a  commonly  found  allele. This  gene  does   not  decrease  or  increase  the  risk  of  the  development  of   a  disease. Therefore, it's  supposed  to  play  a  neutral  role. APOE e4   is   present  in  25-30%  people. And  people  carrying  late-onset  AD  are  mostly  the  ones  who  consists  of  APOE e4  gene.  Many  studies  have  proved   that  this  APOE e4  allele  increases  the  risk  of  developing  AD. But  it's  not  yet  fully  known  that  how  does  this  process   occurs  including  the  APOE  e4  allele. However,  if  a  parent  passes  this  gene  on , it's  very  likely  that  the  child  will  develop  the  early-onset  AD. On  the  other  hand, some  people  with  this  gene  actually  never  got   Alzheimer's   disease  which  throws  of  the  researcher  studies.

           Some  of  the  symptoms  that  starts  to  appear  are  dreadful.  For  instance,  short  term  memory  loss , forgetting  things  done  by  themselves  or  can't   identify  their  own  relationships  with  the  family  members. And  sometimes  their  mood  changes  in  a  moment   if  they   were  laughing  a  minute  ago   they  will  start  crying  badly  and  argue  more  often  on  even  simple  things. They  start  to  believe  false  things  are  true , loss  interest  in  conversation  with  someone  but  usually  they  just  don't  talk  much  because  they  have  problem  in  speaking  and  they  suddenly  forgets  what  they  were  just  talking  about. As  the  disease  progresses,  they  forget  how  to  do  the  simplest  tasks  of  daily  routine. It   extends  to  a  worse  position. For  instance, they  will  routinely  miss  place  things, they  will  put  the  keys  in  the  fridge , wallet  in  the  dishwasher  and  then  will  get  furious  that  they  can't  find  their  things. Another  example  is  that  they  often  dress  regardless  of  the  weather. If  it's  snow  outside  they  will  wear  shorts  or  sleeveless  shirts  and  if  it's  blistering  outside  they  will  wear  a  heavy  coat. These  are  some  of  the  worse  things  a  person  can  do  to  himself.

          Alzheimer's  disease  is  one  of  those  confusing  disease  that  scientists  are  still  researching  on   to  find  the  treatment   for. Unfortunately, the  exact  treatment  for  Alzheimer's   is  not  found  yet. Because  there  are  still  many  aspects  of  the  disease  that   are  either  unknown  or  not  completely  researched. But  researchers  and  scientists  are  trying  to  learn  that  how  these  symptoms  occur. So, that  they  can  find  a  drug  or  non-drug  treatment  for  people  affected  by  the  devastating  Alzheimer's  disease. And  the  people  in  the  clinical  trials  are  helping  scientists  to  test  the  safety , side  effects , and  effectiveness  of  a  medication. Results  of   the  clinical  trials  are  actually  used  to  improve  prevention  and  treatment  for  the  disease.

       The   life  expectancy  of  someone   affected  by  Alzheimer's  differs  from  person  to  person. Everyone's  life  expectancy  is  different  because  it  depends  on  the  age  the   symptoms  first  begin  to  appear. As  well  as  what  other  problems  does  the  person's  body  experience  including  Alzheimer's .However,  the  average  life  expectancy  of  a  patient  with  AD  is   approximately  eight  to  ten  years . Despite  this,  there  were  some  people  known  who  lived  for  almost  twenty  years  or  more.

   A  blood  test  can  identify  what  APOE   allele  a  person  has  but  it's  very  unlikely  to  predict  if  a person  have  Alzheimer's  or  not. Because  there  are  many  other  factors  that  can  influence  the  advancement  and  progression  of  the  disease. Despite, researchers  can  figure  out  that who  have   an  increased  or  decreased  risk  of  developing  AD  through  APOE  testing. The  only  accurate  way  of  knowing  if  a  person  have  AD  is  after  their  death . The  doctors  have  to  take  out  the  brain   of  a  patient  and  measure  the  size  of  it  and  compared  to  normal  brain  size  during  an  autopsy. Because  AD  patient's  brain  diminishes  in  size  as the  disease  progresses. Usually  genetic  testing  is  used  in  the  clinics  if  people  have  a  family  history  of  early-onset  Alzheimer's. If  they  have  APOE e4  allele  than  they   might   have  a  higher  risk  of  developing  the  disease. But  it  maybe  probable  that   they  never  get  Alzheimer's. So, it's  not  definitively  confirmed  yet.

          Currently  researchers  are  working  on  the  aspects  that  are  or  might  be  related  to  Alzheimer's . They  are   looking  forward  to  understand  more  about  the  basic  genetics  of  the  disease   by  answering  some  questions. Few  of  them  are  what  makes  the  disease  process  begin? Why  do  people  with  other  dementia  develop   Alzheimer's  which  other  dementia  develop  Alzheimer's   which  other  do  not? How  and  when  can   this  disease  be  prevented ? What  treatments  are  needed? Other  than this   there  are  numerous  other  questions  that   need  to  be  answered  to  prevent  people  from  this   disease.

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