History of Alzheimer's Disease

Discovery and Pioneering Research for Alzheimer's Disease

In 1906, a German physician, Alois Alzheimer, described the plaques and tangles around and inside nerve cells in the brain of a person who had died following a severe bout of dementia.  The disease was named after Alzheimer to honor his discovery and work.
Since then, a great deal of further research and investigation has been undertaken into the condition, particularly in the following areas :

  • Documenting the common symptoms of Alzheimer's sufferers.
  • Understanding what causes or triggers Alzheimer's.
  • Identifying the different types of Alzheimer's.
  • Investigating the changes to brain tissue and brain chemistry that occur during the onset and development of Alzheimer's.
  • Attempting to find a cure for the disease.

To date, scientists have not managed to find any cure or prevention for Alzheimer's Disease.
However, a great deal of research has been conducted, and incredible strides have been taken over the past 100 years.
There is a great deal of hope that a cure or prevention will be found for this disease in the future.

Genetic Research for Alzheimer's Disease

  • The discovery of the genes associated with Alzheimer's initiated the modern era of Alzheimer's research.
  • This pioneering research was primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Scientists and researches are carefully monitoring a range of proteins made by various genes, and slowly unraveling the clues to the biological sequence of events in the development of Alzheimer's.
  • By understanding the proteins produced by various genes and the pathways through which these proteins are processed, researches are able to design treatments targeted to the early events that underlie the development of Alzheimer's Disease.
  • By interfering and interrupting the disease early on, it is hope that this approach will eventually lead to treatments that can arrest the development of the disease before it affects brain function and causes irreversible clinical symptoms.
  • A major advance made possible by this genetic research was the development of the first transgenic animal models of Alzheimer's disease, which were created by inserting mutated human APP genes into mouse eggs and raising the mice to adulthood.
  • Scientists could then observe the formation of amyloid plaques in the mice, and the development and onset of Alzheimer's symptoms as the mice aged.
  • Since then, numerous transgenicanimal models of Alzheimer's disease have been developed, allowing scientists to better understand how a complex array of pathways both inside and between various cells can interact to affect the production of Alzheimer's plaques.
  • These transgenicanimal models are also beginning to provide a way to test a variety of different treatments that aim to reduce the build-up of these plaques and slowing or halting the development of Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's Disease Guide

Alzheimers Disease
History of Alzheimer's Disease
Types of Dementia
Risk Factors for Alzheimer's Disease
Diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease
Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease
Memory loss in Alzheimers disease
Disorientation and Alzheimers Disease
Disorientation and Alzheimers disease in the home
Alzheimers Disease and Personality
Alzheimer’s disease and Communication
Alzheimer’s disease and sexual behaviour
Alzheimers disease and Risk
Sleep and Alzheimer Disease
Malnutrition and Alzheimer’s disease

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