All About Alzheimer's

Austin Kinder & Mohiba Salman

Why we chose this topic...

We have each heard great amounts about the disease as compared to the others. Our research can help us have a greater understanding of the disease which will allow us to easier identify it. Through us, others may become more knowledgeable on the disease and will better understand how to live with it or cure it.

What is Alzheimer's disease?

Alzheimer's disease is an ailment that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. After a while, it ruins the ability to carry out simple tasks. Symptoms appear usually after the age of sixty-five. It is the most common cause of dementia among elderly people. There is no known cure.

How does this affect the brain?

During the pre-clinical stage, or the time before medical evaluation, people are free of symptoms but toxic changes are taking place in the brain. Abnormal deposits of proteins form amyloid plaques (abnormality of brain) and neurofibrillary tangles (tangles of the neuron fibers in the brain). Over time, neurons work less efficiently and lose the ability to function and communicate with each other; then they die. Eventually, the damage spreads to the hippocampus (necessary in the forming of memories). As more and more neurons die, affected brain regions begin to shrink. By the final stage of Alzheimer's, brain tissue has shrunk significantly.

Research & Psychologists

One of the studies done by doctor Juha Rouru, who heads the central nervous system therapy area at Orion Pharma in Turku, Finland, involved a trial of one-hundred patients; half were given medication on top of regular treatment, and the other half were given placebos. All of them were Alzheimer's patients. Patients receiving the placebo had memory scores decreasing by 33% and those receiving the new drug had a memory score increase of 4%.

Other Interesting Stuff...

  • Alzheimer's is named after Dr Alois Alzheimer, who was the first doctor to avidly study the disease.
  • Nearly one half of adults, age 85+, have this disease.
  • Of approximately 5.4million Americans with Alzheimer's, one half of them may not know they have it.
  • Alzheimer's is more prevalent in women than in men.
  • Approximately every 68seconds, a new case of Alzheimer's develops in America.
  • Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in America.