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Alzheimer's: Chemicals at Play



  Aug 24, 2023

Alzheimer's and the Chemicals Involved


Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's is a type of dementia, which is a group of brain disorders affecting memory and thinking. It's caused by changes in the brain, including the buildup of amyloid plaques and oxidative stress.
 

1. Free Radicals:

Think of free radicals as small troublemakers in our bodies. These are unstable molecules that can cause damage to our cells and DNA. They're produced when our body goes through natural processes like breaking down food or dealing with pollution.
 

2. Antioxidants:

Antioxidants are like superheroes that protect our cells from the damage caused by free radicals. They neutralize these troublemakers and prevent them from causing harm.
 

3. Oxidative Stress:

When there's an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in our body, it's called oxidative stress. It's like having too many troublemakers and not enough superheroes to stop them. This stress can damage our cells and may be linked to diseases like Alzheimer's.
 

4. Glutathione:

Glutathione is one of those superheroes, an important antioxidant. It's like a shield that directly blocks free radicals and helps keep other antioxidants, like vitamins E and C, in good shape. Low levels of glutathione might mean the troublemakers have the upper hand.
 

5. Amyloid Plaques:

In Alzheimer's, there's a problem with proteins called amyloids. These proteins start clumping together and forming plaques in the brain. These plaques can damage brain cells and lead to memory problems and cognitive decline.
 

6. Cognitive Impairment:

Cognitive impairment means difficulties with thinking, remembering, and reasoning. It's what happens when the brain isn't functioning as well as it should, like in Alzheimer's disease.
 

7. Clinical Trials:

Scientists conduct experiments called clinical trials to test new treatments. In the case of Alzheimer's, they're testing if giving people things like glutathione could help improve their condition.


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