You are here

Alzheimer's draft

Submitted by zalam on Wed, 12/04/2019 - 01:26

So why is this disease one of the most devastating ones and what does it look like on a neurobiological level? From a broader perspective, our brain only looks like a grey mush that may not be containing much. However, on a microscopic level, the sheer detail of how much goes on in there can be overwhelming. However, to make it simple, we will look at AD through two perspectives. Tau is a protein that in normal terms is actually there to be helpful. Our brain has microtubules that is necessary for transporting nutrients around the brain. The tau protein stabilizes those microtubules. However, by random mutation, this incredibly essential protein becomes a problem. It starts to entangle in parts of the brain that are responsible for memory, like the hippocampus. With the lack of nutrients, the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain start to die. Another vital player in AD is beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid is the product of the precursor amyloid protein. Usually, the fluid in our brain (CSF) is able to wash out the amyloid build up. However, when it starts building up as plaques it can get to a toxic level, thereby causing cell death in the brain. With all this shrinkage, especially in the areas responsible for forming connections and making memory, it becomes increasingly difficult for people to remember details about their lives.