Friday, January 18, 2008

Alzheimers Disease

Alzheimer's Disease abbreviated as AD is first identified by German Physician Alzheimer in a patient named Auguste. It is a fatal and progressive disease. It is a common form of dementia and currently there is no direct cure for this neurodegenerative disease. The predominate symptom for this disease memory loss in varying degrees, linguistic problems, lack of motivation and forgetting very common things which everyone do unconsciously such as driving a car or opening a tap. The risk for alzheimers disease increases with age. Examples for environmental causes for AD are mechanical injury, improper blood supply to brain. AD affects mainly the hippocampal region which is involved in memory. In the familial AD, there is a mutation in the apolipoprotein E4 gene which causes abnormal accumulation of Amyloid Beta Precursor protein. This results in increased cell stress and ultimately death of the neurons where this accumulation occurs.

Treatment Strategies to AD include preventing formation of the Amyloid Beta protein by drugs, preventing the aggregation of the amyloid beta protein, vaccines using amyloid beta protein as antigen and increasing the availability of acetyl choline which activates the hippocampal neurons.