310alzheimers10toprint - Outline for today Definition of...

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1 Outline for today Definition of dementia Alzheimer’s characteristics Alzheimer’s biochemistry Current treatments Stumbling blocks/future opportunities Dementia Progressive deterioration of memory and cognitive function. Not a single disease. -Reversible dementia: theoretically can treat underlying cause and reverse dementia (e.g. vitamin B12 deficiency, tumor , etc.) -Irreversible dementia: caused by an incurable condition (Alzheimer’s, strokes, etc.) Dementia Prevalence: 1 in 20 people over the age of 65 (prior to 65 is called pre-senile or early-onset) 1 in 5 over the age of 80 By 2050, it is predicted over 100 million people worldwide will suffer from dementia. Estimated financial cost of dementia in 2005: >315 billion $$$ Great social and psychological costs as well- gradual yet continuous disease progression
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2 Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)- most common type of dementia German neurologist Alois Alzheimer 1906 case study: 51-yr. old woman (Frau Auguste D.), demented, postmortem analysis found interesting neuropathological features AD Neuropathology Gross findings: Cortical atrophy Histological features: plaques and tangles Amyloid Plaques Contain primarily beta-amyloid (also known as A β ) Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) Contain primarily abnormal tau Not unique to AD: observed in brains non-demented and Parkinson’s patients AD Neuropathology Gross findings: Cortical atrophy Histological features: plaques and tangles Amyloid Plaques Contain primarily beta-amyloid (also known as A β ) Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) Contain primarily abnormal tau Not unique to AD: observed in brains non-demented and Parkinson’s patients
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3 AD Neuropathology Cortical atrophy (caused by cell death and loss of neurons) AD AD Neuropathology Gross findings: Cortical atrophy Histological features: plaques and tangles Amyloid Plaques Contain primarily beta-amyloid (also known as A β ) Neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) Contain primarily abnormal tau Not unique to AD: observed in brains non-demented and Parkinson’s patients AD Neuropathology Histological features: plaques and tangles Amyloid Plaque Normal Neuron Neurofibrillary Tangle (NFT)
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4 Diagnosis of AD Difficult: dementia not specific to AD Generally not possible to have a definitive diagnosis until autopsy Assessment of patient Normal aging versus dementia Exclude other, potentially treatable dementias Estimated accuracy is 90% http://www.alz.org/national/documents/brochure_basicsofalz_low.pdf
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