What is Alzheimer’s disease?

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a debilitating disease that begins with loss of memory further leading to loss of functionality and ultimately death [1]. During the development of the disease, patients can forget their family members and may be perceived as rude and/or violent, causing pain not only to the patient but also to their loved ones. Currently, AD does not have a cure.

AD is characterised by the accumulation of a protein called Amyloid-βeta, which eventually leads to damage to neurons and brain degeneration [1]. The degeneration of the brain in turn causes the loss of memory and functionality. Amyloid-βeta starts to accumulate in the brain 20 to 30 years before the onset of symptoms. Thus, providing a window in which it is possible to act with preventative strategies to protect the brain, if the pathology is identified early.

Our group is currently working on identifying inexpensive and easy-to-use biomarkers that may be used by general practitioners for identifying people at higher risk of developing AD. The use of these biomarkers will allow early detection and allow time for preventive measures.

We are also working on potential prevention therapies to help these people at higher risk keep healthy for longer.

References

[1] Martins, R., et al., Alzheimer's Disease: A journey from amyloid peptides and oxidative stress, to biomarker technologies and disease prevention strategies-gains from AIBL and DIAN cohort studies. 2018.

For further detailed information, or helpful resources, please check out the following organisations:

The Lions Alzheimer's Foundation- http://lionsalzheimersfoundation.com.au/

Dementia Australia-   https://www.dementia.org.au/

Alzheimer's Association- https://alz.org/

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