Alzheimer's disease is an incurable and a complex one mainly afflicting the elderly population. While AD is confirmed by autopsy which reveals presence of amyloid plaques, neurofibrillar tangles, synaptic and neuronal loss and atrophy in specific areas in the brain, AD in living population or patient can be diagnosed on tests such as ability to recall. Apart from memory recall, AD patients have personality changes, disparity in physical coordination and disorientation. Deficiency of neurotransmitter acetylcholine is also seen to occur.
Molecular mechanism of AD is very complex. The main pathway leading to AD is due to the formation of a protein called beta amyloid [A?] which clusters as amyloid plaques in the blood vessels and on the surface of the neurons eventually killing them. The death of the neurons causes dementia. Amyloid beta peptide is produced when the normal neuron membrane protein amyloid precursor protein [APP] is cleaved by beta-secretase in the endoplasmic reticulum or golgi network. APP is a natural neuron protective agent which reduces Ca2+ concentration and protects neurons from glutamate excitotoxicity.
A? is of two types - one which has 40 amino acids and the other with 42 amino ...
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