Approximately also what chemical reaction and imbalances make

48,000 people in Ireland are affected by Alzheimer’s, a figure which is growing every day. Because this disease is so prominent in our society
it is important for us, as chemists, to not only be aware of the facts and
statistics, but also what chemical reaction and imbalances make this disease as
devastating and fast acting as it is. In people diagnosed with dementia and
Alzheimer’s the cerebral cortex is damaged and shrivels up. This is
the outer layer of the brain and plays a key role in memory, attention,
perception, cognition, awareness, thought, language, and consciousness. This
Shrinkage is especially severe in the hippocampus, an area of the cortex that
plays a key role in formation of new memories.
We can also see from this picture a growth in the size of the brain’s
ventricles. These are fluid filled spaces within the brain and as they grow
they further compress the cortex which further contributes to tissue loss
within the brain. But what causes this to happen? (National
institute of aging)








Amyloid, which denote peptides of amino acids, are crucially involved in
Alzheimer’s disease. Beta-amyloid is a small piece of a larger protein
called amyloid precursor protein (APP). Although scientists have not yet
determined APP’s normal function, they know a great deal about how it appears
to work. In its complete form, APP extends from the inside of brain cells to
the outside by passing through the fatty membrane around the cell. When APP is
“activated” to do its normal job, it is cut by other proteins called Alpha
secretase and Gamma secretase into separate, smaller sections that stay inside
and outside cells. There are several different ways APP can be cut; under some
circumstances, one of the pieces produced is beta-amyloid.

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plaques form when specific proteins in the neurons cell membrane are processed
differently. Normally, the alpha-secretase enzyme snips APP, an amyloid
precursor protein, which releases a fragment while a second enzyme, Gamma
secretase, also snips the protein in another place. These released fragments
are thought to benefit neurons. However, in Alzheimer’s patients, the first
snip of the protein is made usually by another enzyme Beta secretase. This cut
combined with the cut made by gamma secretase results in the release of short
fragments called beta amyloid. When these beta amyloid fragments come together
and become insoluble eventually forming clumps and plaques.


These are
created when a protein called Tau is modified. In normal brain cells, these
proteins stabilise structures critical to cells internal transport system.
Nutrients and other cellular cargo are carried up and down structures called
microtubules to all parts of the neuron. In Alzheimer’s patients, abnormal Tau
separates from the microtubules causing them to fall apart. Strands of this
then dislodged Tau clump together to form tangles inside the neuron which
disables the transport system and ultimately destroys the cell. (Alzheimer’s Universal)





Retrieved from HD video:
md current.
(n.d.). Inside the brain. Retrieved from

Inside the Brain: Unraveling the Mystery of Alzheimer’s Disease

institute of aging. (n.d.). Alzheimers disease facts. Retrieved from
National Institute of aging:






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