This acyrlic painting represents Alzheimer’s disease. Diseased neurons intermingle with normal neurons, and are surrounded by plaque.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease in which people lose their memory. The disease usually starts with short term memory loss, and progresses to include other symptoms including disorientation, mood alterations, and behavior issues.
While the cause is not known, we do know there are alterations in brain neurons that can be seen histologically. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by a loss of neurons, their processes and synapses primarily in the cerebral cortex, including the frontal and cingluate cortex. This loss results in gross atrophy of the affected regions, including degeneration in the temporal lobe and parietal lobe, and parts of the frontal cortex and cingulate gyrus. Amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are clearly observed by microscopy in brains of those With Alzheimer’s disease. Plaques are deposits of beta-amyloid peptide and cellular material outside and around neurons that are thought to interfere with neuron communication. Neurofibrillary tangles are are an accumulation of the microtubule-associated protein inside the neuron.
The above picture shows the lost memories in different stages with the eyes obscured by “fog”. The dying neurons are depicted as darker and have short processes when compared to the healthy neurons, depicted in lighter purple with long branching processes. Amyloid plaques, depicted in orange, are shown throughout the area intermingling with the neurons.
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