'Discuss the biology of Alzheimer's disease'

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Alzheimer's disease represents the most common cause of adult dementia. This disease is pathologically characterized by the accumulation of amyloid plaques (protein deposits that are resistant to proteolytic degradation) in the parenchyma cells of brain. The main components of these plaques are the amyloid beta-peptided, A40 and A42…

Introduction

The clinical features of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are, loss of short-term memory, deficient in praxis (ability to perform skilled movements) and the skill of reasoning and judgment (Doraiswamy PM, 1997). These symptoms arise from involvement of the temporal lobe, hippocampus, and the parietal association cortices, with lesser involvement of frontal lobes, until the disease is in its later stage. A second most prominent neuropathological feature which is also present in AD is the complex, fibrilar deposits in the cortex of the brain; this is known as senile and amyloid plaques. Amyloidal plaques have been the subject of AD research in recent times. These plaques contain a number of proteins, including apolipoprotein E, and 1-anti-chymotrypsin (Carlos Morgana, 2004). The principal component amyloidal plaques are amyloidal-beta peptide that is derived from a beta-amyloidal precursor protein. The presence of another distinct characteristic, that is also present in other dementias like Lewy Body Variant of AD and Fronto-temporal dementia, is the incidence of neurofibrillary tangles. These tangles are intraneural inclusions that are composed of hyperphosphorylated forms of a microtubule associated protein known as tau (Peter H. St George-Hyslop, 2004). ...
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