Alzheimer’s Disease - Physiological Psychology Essay

1888 Words8 Pages
Diana Beharry
PSY350: Physiological Psychology
Alzheimer’s Disease
Professor Candice Ward
March 20, 2011

Introduction In 1901, a fifty one year old woman named Frau Auguste D. was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. She had an unusual bunch of symptoms. While she had no history of prior psychiatric illness, her husband had noticed that Frau D. was becoming increasing paranoid, hallucinatory, agitated, disoriented, and having increasing difficulties with language functions and memory. In the hospital, Auguste D. was a patient of Alois Alzheimer, a German neurologist who had a particular interest in the microscopic analysis of brain disorders. He describes the clinical features of Auguste D. condition and
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Once in the synapses, the impulses triggers the release of chemical messages called neurotransmitters; which then bind to receptors on the receiving cell as the transmission of the impulse repeated again. The message or impulse continues traveling from one neuron to the next throughout the body until it reaches its destination as it relays a signal. All of this activity happens in less than a split second and without conscious thought. At the end of this process, the brain has the task of interpreting the message and making the decision as to what to do with this new information. (Carlson, 2011.Pg.45-52) In people with Alzheimer’s, the neurons become disabled. For starters, Alzheimer’s interferes with the neurons ability to produce energy they need to do their work, a process known as metabolism. Neurons derive energy from the oxygen and glucose which is available through the bloodstream. Without this energy, neurons can no longer communicate with each other and carry impulses to other neurons. They also lose the ability to repair themselves, which ultimately causes them to die. Exactly what interferes with the functioning of the neurons is unclear, and the rate at which the disease progresses also varies from one person to another. Neuofibrillary tangles which is a tau protein that gives neurons their structure by binding to microtubules in a cell and
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