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Alzheimer's disease…read more

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What is Alzheimer's disease
· Alzheimer's is a form of pre-senile dementia (a range of disorders
affecting memory and thinking) that gradually worsens over time.
· Scientists are not fully sure what causes Alzheimer's; though heart
disease, family history, head trauma and poor diet are risk factors
· The first symptoms are usually presented in 40-50 year olds.
Around 465,000 people in the UK suffer from it, making it the most
common form to dementia
Alzheimer's affects
the cerebrum in the
brain…read more

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How it affects the memory
· During the course if the disease, "tangles" ( Neurofibrillary tangles
are tangles in the long fibres of the brain cells) and "plaques"
(amyloid plaques are sticky build-ups that accumulate outside the
nerve cells in the brain) appear in the brain structure and
subsequently cause brain cells to die
· Alzheimer's patients may have shortages of chemicals
(acetylcholine) that (along with the brain cells) transmit messages
within the brain
· Permanent memories must be consolidated by the hippocampus (
located in the temporal lobe of the brain). If the brain cells are
damaged, then long-term memories cannot be made
The neurofibrillary tangles
and amyloid plaques on the
neurons of a person with
Alzheimer's…read more

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The symptoms
· The early stages of Alzheimer's may cause lapses in memory and
problems finding the correct words. As the disease progresses, the
following symptom's occur-
- Confusion and forgetting the names of people, places and
- Mood swings
-Withdrawal, due to lack of confidence or communication
-Difficulty carrying out everyday activities
· Mild cognitive impairment is used by doctors to describe a patient
who suffers from memory loss but not Alzheimer's
A diagram the show the
brain activity (high areas
shown in red) of normal
brain, MCI brain and
Alzheimer's…read more

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How can it be treated or cured?
· There is no cure for Alzheimer's, but drugs can be prescribed to
control symptom's or slow progression of the illness
· Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl work by maintaining existing supplies
of acetylcholine in the brain. Side effects are rare and minor
(nausea, insomnia and diarrhoea)
· Ebixa is the only drug recommended for people in moderate or
severe stages of Alzheimer's, side effects included dizziness,
tiredness, headaches and ­rarely- hallucinations
· There are currently developments in a vaccine that may prevent or
cure Alzheimer's disease
· Stephen Rose is investigating the memory of chicks and found that if
the chemical APP is missing, memory is lost and if the animals are
given a small amount, the memory is restored. This could potentially
be a cure
Molecular structure
of Ebixa…read more


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