What is Alzheimer's?

How can the risk of it/ how can it's effects be reduced?

What is Alzheimer's Disease?

Alzheimer's disease is a common form of dimentia, believed to be caused by changes in the brain, usually beginning in late middle age, characterized by memory lapses, confusion, emotional instability, and progressive loss of mental ability. It is the 6th most killing thing in the US. It was named after Alois Alzheimer; a German neurologist who described it in 1907.

How does it work?

  1. The disease first leads to nerve cell death.
  2. Then, it leads to tissue loss.
  3. As the tissue is dying, the brain shrinks thus disabling a wide variety of the abilities.
  4. The brain's ventricles grow larger, causing the brain to have more fluid than it should.
  5. Plaque builds up in the nerve cells.
  6. The chemically sticky Beta-amyloid gradually builds up into plaques.
  7. Then, tangles start to come in and they destroy the transport system, which is how nutrients get around
  8. Tau helps the transport system stay straight until they eventually collapse into tangles.
  9. Eventually, the transport system becomes so unstraight that it disinegrates.
  10. Nutrients can't pass through a non-existent system, so they die.
  11. Usually, Alzheimer's patients live anywhere from 8-20 years with the disease before they die.

Dark Chocolate

Scientists preformed a one year experiment to test the theory that resveratrol, a compound found in dark chocolate, could potentially halt the worsening of Alzheimer's. The Alzheimer's patients who consumed resveratrol saw little to know change in the levels of Abeta40 inside their blood. The Alzheimer's patients who didn't consume resveratrol, but instead consumed placebo, saw the levels of Abeta40 in them durastically drop. With Alzheimer's disease, Abeta40 typically durastically drops, as shown with the placebo, thus confirming the theory that resveratrol has an effect on Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's Disease and Brain Cancer

Alzheimer's and Brain Cancer are similar in effects they have on a human. Effects they both have on people include weakness, clumsiness, difficulty walking, and uncoordinated. Some treatments that are effective with brain cancer might be effective with Alzheimer's disease too. They are chemotherapy, surgery, steroids, AEDs, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy.

Vocabulary

Ventricle- One in a seiries of connecting cavities in the brain

Tau- A protein that is an important component of nerve cells, helping to maintain their function and structure: in the brain, distortions in the protein's molecular shape is associated with the onset of Alzheimer's Disease

Placebo- A substance having no pharmacological effect but given merely to satisfy a patient who supposes it to be a medicine

Abeta40- The most abundant abeta peptide in the brain

Peptide- A compound containing two or more amino acids in which the carboxyl group of one acid is linked to the amino group of the other

Amino acids- Any of a class of organic compounds that contains at least one amino group

Bibliography

Dictionary.com

Alz.org

Discovermagazine.com

Webmd.com

Livestrong.com

Braintumor.org

Helpguide.org

Nia.nih.gov

Abc7news.com

Mayoclinic.org

Ghr.nlm.nih.gov

Sciencealert.com

Mdidea.com

My Reason For Choosing Alzheimer's

My grandma has Alzheimer's and she is not doing well. She hardly remembers any of us and doesn't know how to use anything or what to call anything. It's like her brain is collapsing on itself with all of her past knowledge in it. When she and my grandpa came to visit us, she said to me, "Now, what are your mom and dad's names?" I know she means well and doesn't know she has any disability, but it is hard to see her lose everything she knows. A few years ago, I remember she knew everything that happened in her life before she got diagnosed. If we were talking about something and she asked a question, she would have to ask the same question repeatedly about every minute because she didn't remember anything after she got diagnosed. My mom says that she used to be just like me and she would always get into trouble when she was with her friends. She was a fun, loving, caring, and normal person until Alzheimer's changed her life. Now, whenever my mom has free time, she is doing one of three things: sleeping, watching tv, or looking up ways to benifit her mom and help get her back on track. She does this project that I am doing everyday of her life. Once someone you know is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, you may as well say goodbye because they will never be the same again.