Alzheimer’s Disease


Description:
Alzheimer’s disease is an illness that affects parts of the brain, specifically the parts that control memory, language, and thought. Dementia is another name for this disease. All people who have Alzheimer’s disease, age 65 and older, tend to gradually forget memories, friends and family, and how to speak. This disease causes parts of the brain to collapse/disappear and also engenders abnormal clumps of protein & cell debris to form in the brain. Eventually, people die from this sickness due to their brain slowly disintegrating as they age.

Inheritance:
To inherit this disease, you need just one defected gene from either your mother or father, since it is an autosomal dominant sickness. The part of the gene that is affected is chromosome 19. There is a 50% chance that a child with a parent of this disease will receive this illness. Many families with an Alzheimer’s infected parent will most likely have a child with this disease.

Symptoms:
Symptoms of this include early signs of dementia, such as forgetting names, forgetting words, or forgetting past events. As someone progresses with this disease, symptoms may include not being able to perform regular tasks, like brushing your teeth and hair or walking. Personality wise, indications of this illness include getting sad, nervous, quiet, or irritated.



Daily Life:


Diagnosis:
Not one test is given to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, but simple language, memory, and problem solving tests are given to try and detect it. While doctors can spot this illness, families of the people infected can try and notice this sickness by seeing if he/she has early dementia signs. Also, if he/she has short-term memory loss, that person may be at risk.



Treatment:
Although this sickness is not curable, many medicines are given to Alzheimer’s disease patients
to slow the disease down. Aricept, which increase neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain, and Namenda, which protects brain cells, aid the people with this illness. Also, local doctors can prescribe other medications to ease the symptoms you may receive. A nurse or caregiver is usually given to Alzheimer’s disease patients to help them around.



Research:
The NIA, National Institute on Aging, is now trying to find treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. This organization is creating tests to see if beta-amyloid is in the brain, which could be the reasoning for this sickness occurring. Therapies also offer to take and aid people with Alzheimer’s disease. Research shows that Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented if you exercise daily, eat healthy, and are involved in social engagement.


Additional Facts:
Alzheimer’s disease, named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906, can be passed to both male and female. 4 million Americans to this day live with this illness. 1 or 2 out of 100 people (at age 65) have this sickness, while 1 out of 5 people (at age 80) have this disease. Elders mostly have this disease; it is rare for someone younger that 50 to get this.



Punnett Square:


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Pedigree Chart:

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Pictures:

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Resources:

· http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/disorders/whataregd/alzheimers/ – University of Utah

· http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/alzheimer-disease – U.S. National Library of Medicine

· http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/Publications/adfact.htm – U.S. National Institutes of Health

· http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2964224 - NCBI