Alzheimer’s Disease: My Grandma’s Killer Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is characterized by gradual cognitive decline that beings with the inability to create recent memories or thoughts which then proceeds to influencing all intellectual functions (Mayeux & Stern, 2012) . Alzheimer’s disease leads to premature death and the dependence of someone for daily life functions. (Mayeux & Stern, 2012) If effects an estimated 5.5 million people in the United States and 24 million people worldwide (Mayeux & Stern, 2012). The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is rising in line with the aging population therefore; Alzheimer’s is most common in older patients around the ages of 60-85 (Mayeux & Stern, 2012).
Although Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part…show more content… Therefore, in the United States, one individual will develop the disease in every 67 seconds ("Latest Alzheimer 's Facts and Figures", 2015).
Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the degeneration of the nervous system, mainly the neurons in the brain leads to nerve cell death and the loss of tissue throughout the whole brain (MacGill, 2009). Over a period, the brain shrinks dramatically, affecting almost all of its normal functions throughout ones life (MacGill, 2009). The brain size shrinks with AD and the tissue tends to have fewer nerve cells and connections (MacGill, 2009. Abnormal protein groups and structures of plaques and tangles characterize the disease (MacGill, 2009). Plagues and tangles are not able to be viewed or tested in the living brain but are able to be observed in an autopsy of an infected deceased (MacGill, 2009).
Plagues are abnormal clusters of protein fragments that accumulate between dying nerve cells in the brain due to a build up of the beta-amyloid protein usually referred to as amyloid plagues (Nelson et al., 2012). The beta-amyloid protein comes from a larger protein that is found in the fatty membrane that surrounds nerve cells (Nelson et al., 2012). Beta-amyloid is chemically sticky which helps its cluster and build up into plaques (Nelson et al., 2012). However, even though the huge clusters are thought