Alzheimer's Disease: What is it and how do we slow it?
Alzheimer’sWhat is it and how do we
slow the disease?
• Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive
brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and
thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry
out the simplest tasks.
• The damage initially appears to
take place in the hippocampus
(essential to forming memories).
• As more neurons die, other parts
of the brain are affected, and
they begin to shrink as well.
Signs & Symptoms
• Memory problems are typically the first signs of
cognitive impairment related to Alzheimer’s
• For many, decline in non-memory aspects of
cognition (word-finding, vision/spatial issues,
reasoning or judgement) may signal early stages
of the disease.
What Causes Alzheimer’s?
• Scientists don’t fully understand what causes
Alzheimer’s disease in most people.
• The causes are believed to be a combination of
genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
• The influence of each factor increasing or
decreasing ones risk of developing the disease
may differ from person to person.
Diagnosis Of Alzheimer’s
• Conduct tests of memory, problem solving,
attention, counting, and language.
• Carry out standard medical tests, such as blood
and urine tests, to identify other possible causes
of the problem.
• Perform brain scans - computed tomography (CT),
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), pr positron
emission tomography - to rule out other possible
causes for the symptoms.
A Glimmer Of Hope
• Few things are more precious than memory, and
for years, thousands have suffered with watching
their loved ones lose themselves to the raves of
• Alzheimer’s disease robs us of our loved ones too
soon, but a solution is on the horizon.
Fight Against Alzheimers
• Researchers have found a way to fight against the
decay of memory, possibly to stop it entirely.
• A protein has been discovered which causes
memory impairment when it builds in the blood
• These researchers have discovered how to block
the production of this protein, preventing the
eventual loss of memory.
Blood Plasma The Key
• Recent discoveries led scientists to theorize that
blood plasma is the key to curing many age-based
• By focusing their collective efforts on identifying
the components in blood plasma that lead to
Alzheimer’s disease, patients are already
preparing to undergo trails.
• The process could be capable of slowing down
the aging process and all of its rigors.
What Led To
• Observations of mice with increased levels of
beta-2-micoglobulin, or B2M.
• This protein (produced in mice and humans)
increased in saturation as the subject aged.
• Furthermore, subjects in need of long-term kidney
dialysis often suffered from raised levels of B2M in
their blood, resulting in faster decline of cognition.
• The younger mice, memories intact, would run the
test (solving a maze) while searching for specific
• When B2M was introduced into their systems,
however, researchers noticed a drastic change.
• The younger mice began to falter where they’d
just recently displayed mastery of the maze.
What Lies Ahead?
• Tests will be continued to see what types of
treatments can be developed for the infirm.
• We may live to see this protein expunged from our
• This discovery is uplifting, as eradication of
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia will not only
ensure a new quality of life, but promise the
preservation of a lifetime’s worth of cherished