An Investigation into Key Components of Alzheimer`s Disease
Sponsored by Missouri Western State University Sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation DUE-97-51113
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The proper APA Style reference for this manuscript is:
RUSTON, S. M. (2005). An Investigation into Key Components of Alzheimer`s Disease. National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse, 8. Available online at http://www.webclearinghouse.net/volume/. Retrieved April 25, 2017 .

An Investigation into Key Components of Alzheimer`s Disease
STEPHANIE M. RUSTON
ROLLINS COLLEGE DEPARTMENT OF BIOCHEMISTRY/MOL

Sponsored by: JEFFERY SCHULTZ (jschultzfl1@aol.com)
ABSTRACT
First discovered in 1906 by Dr. Alois Alzheimer, Alzheimerís disease (AD) is a progressive, irreversible, and incurable form of dementia that will have dramatic effects as the number of older people in the world increases in the coming years. AD is characterized by the presence and accumulation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. This paper explores key components influencing the formation of tangles and plaques in the development of AD. Neurofibrillary tangles are formed from the hyperphosphorylation of tau by cdk5 and fyn. Hyperphosphorylation leads to the dissociation of tau from microtubules, a weakening of neuronal structure, and an accumulation of tau proteins in the brain, ultimately resulting in cellular death. Cell death may also result from the formation of amyloid plaques, insoluble aggregations of ‚-amyloid that are cleaved from amyloid precursor protein (APP). Production of ‚-amyloid is increased by many factors, including mutations in APP, caspase protease activation, apolipoprotein E isoform Ś4, and interactions with the presenilins. A change in one component can alter the entire pathway, amplifying the production of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles and further enhancing the progression of the disease. While much has been discovered about AD and its components, there is still a lot to be learned about AD and its causes before a cure can be found.

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Submitted 6/8/2005 2:56:26 PM
Last Edited 6/8/2005 3:20:47 PM
Converted to New Site 03/09/2009

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