Scientists at Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry have been able to construct a detailed map that shows how the formation of proteins in the brain can lead to a build-up so massive that it can lead to the development of numerous brain-damaging diseases, chief among them is Alzheimer’s. In 2010, the Alzheimer’s Research Trust found that with dementia alone, it cost the UK economy E23 billion, way more than cancer and heart disease combined cost.
    Normally, proteins are made up of chemical building blocks known as amino acids, which are joined together in a code ordered by our DNA. New proteins appear as long, thin strips, which are then intricately folded to properly carry out their designated biological function. However, there are points at which the protein can ‘misfold,’ or unfold and get tangled together with other newly-made proteins. The tangles stick to one another until they number in the millions, known as amyloid fibrils, and they start the huge deposits of proteins known as plaque, which are so huge that they are insoluble.  
    When the level of plaque in the brain reaches a critical level, a chain reaction is set off, and new focal points of tendrils form. From these tendrils, a smaller number of proteins, known as toxic oligomers, can easily diffuse through membranes, effectively killing neurons, causing memory loss, and other dementia symptoms.
    This new groundbreaking information required scientists to come together, using kinetic experiments with a framework of theory. Master equations, more commonly used in the fields of chemistry and physics, aided researchers in their efforts to better understand a disease such as Alzheimer’s, and how better to fight it.

By Lauren Horne

    University of Cambridge (2013, May 20). Molecular trigger for Alzheimer's disease identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 22, 2013,
    Samuel I. A. Cohen, Sara Linse, Leila M. Luheshi, Erik Hellstrand, Duncan A. White, Luke Rajah, Daniel E. Otzen, Michele Vendruscolo, Christopher M. Dobson, and Tuomas P. J. Knowles. Proliferation of amyloid-β42 aggregates occurs through a secondary nucleation mechanism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1218402110
Dementia robs individuals of their memory, mental function, and social interaction skills. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a form of dementia that is easily distinguishable from the others. This neurodegenerative disease includes early signs that are consistent with each patient and involves the loss of short term memory. Recently presented information will evaporate after a short period of time for Alzheimer’s patients.

Individuals in the early stages of AD will have a hard time retaining any fresh information presented to them. Forgetting what they talked about on the phone only a few minutes ago or arriving at the grocery store with no recollection of what they planned on purchasing are just simple examples of how AD can impact the daily routine of an individual’s life.

In today’s society, technology is a leading source of knowledge. Computers, televisions, radios, and phones are regularly used to distribute ideas and provide the latest updates about the happenings around the world. Because of this, Alzheimer’s disease patients are at a disadvantage since they lack the ability to store these current events in their memory. An individual’s incapability to remember any updates about current events, such as the presidential election or the Olympics, can be an early sign of the disease and should serve as a trigger for visiting a memory disorder clinic for an evaluation.

The Roskamp Institute, with one location in Sarasota, Florida and one in Tampa, Florida, offers full evaluations for Alzheimer’s disease and other causes of memory loss.

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Wendy Liu

August 2, 2012

_ Two distinct patterns in of brain damage predicted by studies one studying how brain circuits wire up structurally in their natural manner and the other their functional connections, converged on a remarkably similar model which predicted the sites of degeneration in each forms of dementia .These studies have been proved significant since the models to predict and study the human neural degeneration has remained elusive.  Neurodegenerative process is thought to involve the accumulation of abnormal toxic proteins and the spread of these toxic proteins between neurons, which may be contagious through their synaptic connections.
_  Studies reveals that the People over the aged from 60 to 70 years with high levels of visceral fat have a greater risk of brain decline there by resulting in Alzheimer’s  or other forms of dementia , compared to those of normal weight and also promotes cardiovascular diseases . A simple study says that people with higher BMIs and larger waist size scored the worst in the cognitive tests. But there do was some exceptions where there happen to be no associations between the cognitive abilities and obesity.