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beta amyloid
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Alzheimer’s: Possible Causes Genetic Or Somatic Cells Gone Haywire?
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It is believed that diseases/disorders on genes are inherited from biological parents but this is not always the case; sometimes somatic cells have a tendency to act up. Cancer is caused by a mutation in somatic cells while Down syndrome is caused by an extra 21 chromosome. While both genetics and cell mutations can cause serious problems, the question is what is the main cause of Alzheimer’s?

This serious disease, which causes the deterioration of the brain cells and affects one out of seven Americans is still a mystery to scientist because of its complexity. After the age of sixty-five the risk of Alshimers doubles and by the age of eighty-five there is a fifty percent chance of having it. The best way to slow or cure this disease is to discover the origin of the disorder among the cells. There are scientists that have found some influences toward Alzheimer’s disease but there is still plenty of unknown information about this subject.

Alzheimer’s has been classified in both categories of what triggers disease: risk and deterministic genes. The first and most impactful gene identified is APOE-e4 which can also lead to the disease appearing at a younger age. This gene appears in about twenty five percent of Alzheimer’s cases. There is also reason to believe that beta-amyloid plays a role in the death of brain cells because it is a protein fragment for plagues.

Certain genes are known to have an influence in Alzheimer’s disease. The first is Amyloid precursor protein (on the twenty-first chromosome) which is a regulator of synapse formation, neural plasticity, iron export, and is a precursor for beta-amyloid. Other genes from the same family are Presenilin 1(on the fourteenth chromosome) and Presenilin 2 (on chromosome 1) which undergo a cleavage so that a larger N-terminal and smaller C-terminal are produced. The gene apolipoprotein E-e4 (on the nineteenth chromosome) discussed earlier has a great impact because it is necessary for normal catabolic reactions of trilyceride-rich lipoprotein particles to occur.

These small proteins and mutations on genes may not seem important but even something as simple as a protein miscommunication can cause the decline of brain function and can cause this complex disease. Not much is known about Alzhimers other than the fact genes are inherited, meaning that genetics may plays a major role in this devastating disease. However, only time and research may provide a cure and answers to this mysterious conundrum.


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