Implications Of Improper Protein Folding

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Implications of Improper Protein Folding in Alzheimer ’s Disease Stephen Sewell Schreiner University Dr. McGinnis Biochemistry Fall 2012 Abstract This paper is a brief review of the understanding of Alzheimer’s as it is generally seen today in the medical field, by scientists, physicians, and other healthcare providers alike. It examines the main hypothesis for the pathogenesis of the disease and the physical changes that the disease causes to the brain. The paper will then detail some of the treatments that are given to the patient. These include the drug related and non-drug related treatment options that are available, and discusses at what stage of the disease that they are used. Introduction Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of memory and other cognitive abilities essential for the function of a healthy human being. Neuropathologically, the disease is characterized by the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and senile plaques, impaired synaptic function and cell loss.1 There is a major loss of cholinergic, noradrenergic, and dopaminergic neurons while at the same time there is an accumulation of free radicals and oxidative stress, leading to lipid peroxidation and neuronal degeneration in the tissues of the brain. Not only are there major physiological changes in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, but with these changes come cognitive symptoms as well. These include disruptions in memory, language, thinking,

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