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Estimates vary, but it is thought that 5.5 million Americans age 60 and up may be living with Alzheimer’s diseases (AD). AD is the most common type of dementia and is characterized by a decline in episodic memories, long-term memory, language, attention, and personality changes. The first symptoms can vary, but for most people memory is the first capacity to become impaired. However, symptoms can also be a decline in non-memory aspects of cognition like work-finding, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgement. AD is identified mainly by two histopathological features: extracellular plague of amyloid-beta protein and intracellular neuronal tangles formed by abnormally phosphorylated tau protein. The damage begins to take place in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, which are both parts of the brain essential for memory processing.
As neurons die, brain tissue is affected and begins to shrink. Patient with AD show changes in brain waves which are composed of electrical impulses from masses of neurons that communicate with each other. There are also findings of microglia gathering around the amyloid-beta plaque deposits in patients with AD as well. Microglia are thought to have many roles in the brain but cleaning up debris is the most important. These findings have led researchers into exploring more options by altering brain waves and triggering cellular responses in the brain. Recent research using AD mouse models suggest that non-invasive brain stimulation could offer potential future interventions for people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.
Cognitive Neuroscience; Visual and Auditory Sensory; Non-invasive brain stimulation
Cognitive Neuroscience | Medical Neurobiology | Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience | Nervous System Diseases | Other Rehabilitation and Therapy
Carter, Whitney L, "GENUS applications for Alzheimer's Disease Pathology" (2021). Undergraduate Arts and Research Showcase. 49.