Alzheimer's Disease, Neural Plasticity, and Functional Recovery

Journal of Alzheimer's Disease : JAD
Daymara Mercerón-MartínezAdrian G Palacios

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common and devastating neurodegenerative condition worldwide, characterized by the aggregation of amyloid-β and phosphorylated tau protein, and is accompanied by a progressive loss of learning and memory. A healthy nervous system is endowed with synaptic plasticity, among others neural plasticity mechanisms, allowing structural and physiological adaptations to changes in the environment. This neural plasticity modification sustains learning and memory, and behavioral changes and is severely affected by pathological and aging conditions, leading to cognitive deterioration. This article reviews critical aspects of AD neurodegeneration as well as therapeutic approaches that restore neural plasticity to provide functional recoveries, including environmental enrichment, physical exercise, transcranial stimulation, neurotrophin involvement, and direct electrical stimulation of the amygdala. In addition, we report recent behavioral results in Octodon degus, a promising natural model for the study of AD that naturally reproduces the neuropathological alterations observed in AD patients during normal aging, including neuronal toxicity, deterioration of neural plasticity, and the decline of learning a...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Adaptation, Physiological
Aging
Alzheimer's Disease
Amygdaloid Structure
Electric Stimulation Technique
Environment
Learning
Memory
Nervous System Structure
Neuronal Plasticity

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