B. Brief Topic Summary
II. ORIGINS AND HISTORY OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
A. Dr. Alois Alzheimer
III. WHAT IS ALHEIMER’S DISEASE?
B. Warning Signs
IV. WHO’S AT RISK?
A. Risk Factors
B. Biological & Genetics
C. Other Possible Causes
A. Pharmacological Treatments
VI. THE FUTURE OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
VIII. REFERENCE LIST Abstract
As per the Alzheimer’s Association, An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease and it is projected that that number will significantly increase by the year 2050 (2014 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures, 2014). Alzheimer’s disease is a permanent, progressive, degenerative brain disease that slowly extinguishes memory, critical thinking skills and, cognitive functions. There are many questions regarding this disease such as, how is it developed, what are the causes, and what are the risk factors, however, although there is not a known cure, researchers are studying the potential causes and treatments that have the potential to reduce the rapidity of the diseases development. The intent of this literature review is to analyze and discuss the aforementioned along with supporting research related to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers believe that the utmost cases of early-onset Alzheimer disease are derived from inherent recessive mutated genes passed from parent to child. Research has supported that the disease is the result of mutations in one of three genes: APP, PSEN1, or PSEN2 and when altered, abnormal protein deposits form amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain provoking the loss of connections between nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain (Marx, 1998). The causes of late-onset Alzheimer disease however are less clear however may be due to a combination of gene mutations along with lifestyle and environmental factors. Extensive studies have extensively been performed on a gene called APOE variation of this gene called the e4 allele which seems to increase an individual's risk for developing late-onset Alzheimer disease. Neurodegenerative diseases are unified by gradual and anatomically selective spread of pathologic disease proteins causing neurons and glia to die. A devastating neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer’s disease, is a permanent, progressive, degenerative brain disease that slowly extinguishes memory, critical thinking skills and, cognitive functions. The disease was first described in 1906 by German physician Alois Alzheimer while studying a patient who had suffered extreme memory loss, baseless confusion in regard to her family, and other worsening psychological changes; eventually being able to isolate the pathological causes of severe dementia.
Dr. Alois Alzheimer was born on June 14, 1864, in the small Bavarian town of Marktbreit, Germany. He attended Aschaffenburg, Tubingen and Berlin universities before obtaining his medical degree from Wurzburg University in 1887. In 1888, Alois Alzheimer began his residency at the Hospital for the Mentally Ill and Epileptics in Frankfurt, Germany, headed by Emil Sioli, and during this time, he studied psychiatry and his passion of neuropathology and conducted extensive investigations on the pathology of the nervous system.
In 1901, he met Auguste Deter, a 51-year-old woman with strange behavior symptoms and increasing short-term memory loss. Her condition rapidly deteriorated into severe dementia. Over the next few years, Alzheimer conducted further testing for the potential of other diseases such as Huntington's chorea and epilepsy however it wasn’t until after the patient’s death; the autopsy would reveal something unique (Alois Alzheimer Biography, 2014). Alzheimer identified a numeral of pathological conditions, including shrinking of brain tissues and the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and neurotic plaques. These findings contributed to the diagnosis