As technology advanced, so did the average life span of the human race. Over time we have come across many new diseases, some with a higher severity. Out of every single disease, there is one that still stands out and strikes curiosity, Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. Discovered in 1906, Dr. Alzheimer noticed changes in brain tissue along with behavioral changes, which inevitably led to the discovery of Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s Disease accounts for 60% to 70% of cases of dementia, which also affects the brain tissue and the way the brain functions.
The brain itself is a complex organ. Signals which form memories and thoughts move through an individual nerve cell as a tiny electrical charge. Each thought generated as a result of the brain function creates these charges. After the electrical charge is formed, nerve cells connect to one another at something called synapses. When a charge reaches a synapse, it may trigger release of tiny bursts of chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neurotransmitters travel across the synapse, carrying signals to other cells. Scientists have identified dozens of neurotransmitters. In other words, this is how the brain communicates with the body and allows the body to carry out the necessary functions. In Alzheimer’s Disease, plaques can commonly be found between the dying cells in the brain from the build-up of a protein called beta-amyloid. The tangles created from these plaques are within the brain neurons from a disintegration of another protein, called tau. These built up protein clumps found around the neurons in the brain are the main cause of Alzheimer’s Disease. These clumps disrupt the way electrical charges travel within cells and the activity of neurotransmitters, making it difficult for the brain to carry out necessary actions.
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