With the constant stresses endured in everyday life, it is no wonder society’s blood pressures are shooting through the roof as soon as the morning alarm rings. In the US alone, an estimated 50 million individuals are affected by increased blood pressure, 62% of which are associated with attributable risk factor for cerebrovascular disease. Despite these concerning statistics, less than 60% of identified individuals receive treatment for their hypertension and only about a third of the population achieve adequate control of blood pressure. Now, new research published by Charles DeCarli in Lancet Neurology aids in the push towards greater awareness of blood pressure levels even amongst the healthy middle-aged population.
The first case of Alzheimer's was described by Alois Alzheimer in 1906. The clinical description of dementia and decline of cognitive ability correlated with the presence of beta-amyloid plaques on the brain have been described as a principal feature of this disease. Plaques formed by deposition of the beta-amyloid peptide have been observed in Alzheimer's patients' brains in post-mortem analyses. The formation of plaques has also been replicated in animal models. Studies with animal models also show that the extent of development of plaques corresponded with severe dementia and loss of cognition and memory, giving rise to the notion that beta-amyloid plaques are the causative agents of Alzheimer's disease.
Prions are infectious agents those are composed primarily of proteins. To date, all such agents that have been discovered propagate by transmitting a misfolded protein state. Prions are proteins that are unique in their ability to reproduce on their own and become infectious. The protein itself does not self-replicate and the process is dependent on the presence of the polypeptide in the host organism. The misfolded form of the prions proteins have been implicated in a number of diseases in a variety of mammals.
Parkinson's disease (PD) was described almost a century ago but has proven to be intractable in terms of curative therapies. Early detection and interventions for slowing down the progressively debilitating changes are the principal medical approaches to treat this problem. Tremor, loss of motor control and rigidity in limbs are the principal symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
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