Alzheimer’s disease is the devastating neurodegenerative disease most commonly known for causing memory loss. Over 5 million people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, yet there are many more patients in the early stages of memory loss that remain undiagnosed. Currently people accepted into research must have a qualified caregiver or family member with them at every visit to report their symptoms. It is estimated that 20 million US citizens will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.
The cause and progression of Alzheimer’s disease are not well understood. Research indicates that the disease is associated with plaques (similar to the plaque that is formed by cholesterol) and tangles (a protein that aggregates in an insoluble form) in the brain and blocking neuronal communication. Current research is aimed at preventing the aggregating of the plaque and tangles.