Alzheimer's Disease


Today 5.4 million people are living with Alzheimer's disease, and 14.9 million family and friends have provided 17 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer's and other dementias. Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative disease (gets worse with time) that is caused by protein complexes called plaques and tangles which develop in the brain and cause the cells to die. The disease has a distinctive pattern that is defined by the area it affects. The diseases starts in the hippocampus where new memories are formed, then travels to the region where language is processed, from there it moves to the frontal lobe, next it travels to the place where emotions are regulated, and continues until it destroys the part of the brain that coordinates the lungs and heart. Currently it is the 6th leading cause of death with an average span of 7-8 years and is the only one of the top 10 most deadly diseases that cannot be prevented, treated or cured. Current medications attempt to treat the memory loss and behavior changes that are caused by the disease. The current medication Aricpet is the leader in the treatment, and is extremely expensive and shows no significant improvement in functional outcome, quality of life, behavioral symptoms (UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence). Research at many major universities and companies worldwide (including the U of M), are looking for clues that will provide insight for treatments and hopefully one day a cure.
(an event I am hosting through my fraternity, to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer's)


I am extremely surprised at the statistics about alzheimer's disease and how many people are effected by it. It is amazing how there has not been any effective cure or procedure for this disease. I had no idea it was a very common cause of death or the cost of a the drug that is very effective. This was a very eye opening blog entry.

The video on the blog entry is a great explanation on the progression of alzheimers! Also, you provided a good explanation of the popularity of the disease. My grandfather actually passed away from this disease and I witnessed this progression. Even though many don't know of it until one's further into the early stages, you can easily see a person has alzheimers when they lose their emotion. I find it astonishing there is still no cure (yet there isn't a cure for a lot of diseases). Are the plagues and tangles impossible to fend off? If a cure comes out, will noticing it in the beginning stages be key to killing the disease? The future only holds the truth.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by shneu002 published on March 3, 2012 4:36 PM.

A Lifetime Forgotten was the previous entry in this blog.

Communicating with animals is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.