Alzheimer 's Disease And Its Effects On Society

1009 Words Nov 25th, 2014 5 Pages
Alzheimer’s disease, also known as AD is often insidious on set, it can take months up to years to go from a mild to severe impairment. (Mayeux, 2010) The disease is irreversible and has no cure. “The disease affects 500,000 Canadians, 71,000 of those are under the age of 65” (VanDenBroek, 2013). AD affects the person by impacting their neurological function, their cognition and their behaviour. Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder, it affects two pathological hallmarks: amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. “Amyloid plaques are caused when protein pieces called beta amyloid stick together, they eventually build up between the nerve cells into plaques.” (Ballard, 2011) Amyloid plaques trigger neurological dysfunction and eventually brain death. Compared to a healthy brain the amyloid is broken down and disposed, however in AD they collect and form hard plaques. “Once brain death happens there is no way for the brain to communicate, or restore memory” (Brightfocus.org, 2014). Neurofibrillary tangles are fibers found in the brain cells, and they have a primary protein called ‘tau’ which aids in the structure called microtubule. “Microtubules help move nutrients and other factors from one cell to another with Alzheimer’ the ‘tau’ protein is abnormal and the microtubule structure collapses.” (Ballard, 2014 & Brightfocus.org, 2014) Even though we often see the effects of AD on the outside; it is a neurodegenerative disease effecting the amyloid plaques and…

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