Scientific India|November - December 2019
It is responsible for brain cell degeneration and induces a gradual deterioration in the ability of an individual to function independently. Forgetting the recent conversations or events is the early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. The level of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter is found lower in Alzheimer's disease patient. This disease is usually found in the people of older age groups. Alzheimer's disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer after observing the brain tissue of a woman.
Causes of Alzheimer's disease
Age, family history, genetics, unhealthy diet, obesity, depression, sedentary life style, consumption of alcohol and smoking etc. are the factors that increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Oxidative stress causes elevation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Excess production of ROS shows negative impact on cell functioning. Mitochondria and plasma membrane, two cellular organelles act as major source of ROS. Alternation of electron transport chain in mitochondria and increased free fatty acids in metabolic disorders leads to generation of ROS which react with oxygen molecules and produce superoxide radical. This is responsible for oxidative stress and formation of toxic compounds like peroxides and alcohols. Further, oxidative stress on the nervous tissue can significantly damage the brain. Free radicals are responsible for brain protein oxidation and influence the activity of different enzymes such as glutamine synthetase and creatine kinase, which play a critical role in proper neuron functioning. ROS contributes to reactive nitrogen species (RNS) growth. Superoxide ions react with nitric oxide (NO) and form more effective oxidants – peroxynitrite (ONOO-), thus connecting oxidative stress closely to nitrosative stress. Reports suggest that NOS (nitric oxide synthase) is triggered by cells exposed to mild oxidative stress (such as ionizing radiation or low H2O2concentrations).
Management of Alzheimer's disease (AD)
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November - December 2019