Alzheimer’s Disease: Causes and Treatments Essay

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Dementia is a neurological disorder where those affected suffer from a loss of cognitive ability. It is most common in older generations; however, it can occur before the age of 65 in what is known as early onset dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. About 15.9 million Americans suffer from the disease and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. While other leading causes of death can be prevented through medications and altering daily routines, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease caused by both genetic factors and more controversially, zinc and aluminum. It is treated with medicines designed to slow down the nerve damage in the brain and prevent further …show more content…
All of these are passed down from a carrier to their offspring. Mutations in these genes cause their recipients to develop early onset Alzheimer’s.
In the APP gene of Alzheimer’s patients, located on chromosome 21, the mutations cause the brain to produce excess amounts of a protein called beta-amyloid. Though there are different variations of the gene, all mutations occur on the same region of the gene. The amyloid plaque buildup in the brain is a typical characteristic of Alzheimer’s.
PS1 and PS2 are very similar in structure, but PS1 mutations, which occur in nearly half of Alzheimer’s patients, are by far more common than PS2 mutations, which are very rarely documented. PS1 is caused by a mutation on chromosome 14 while PS2 is caused by a mutation found on chromosome one. PS2 mutations are also not necessarily the cause of Alzheimer’s. Some people who have the mutation never develop the disease.
Other genes that are inherited may not be the direct cause of Alzheimer’s, but may influence the development of the disease. For example, Apolipoprotein E (APOE), which found on chromosome 19. It helps make a protein that carries cholesterol and other fats down the bloodstream. There are four different types of APOE that can be found in the human body. If you inherit E4, one of the four types of APOE, your risk of developing Alzheimer’s increases by 12-15 percent. The inheritance of this gene does not seal ones fate, as many who inherit this

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