Alzheimer's disease (AD) is currently the most common form of dementia affecting the elderly, and its occurrence rate is only expected to increase over the next several decades. Though there is a vast array of knowledge about individual molecules and genetics involved with the disease, there is no clear understanding of the mechanism of pathogenesis. To help better understand the disease process, a graph theoretic model was developed that studies both the concentration of molecules thought to be involved in pathogenesis (Aβ, interleukin-1, tumor necrosis factor alpha, cholesterol, ATP levels), as well as the cell number in a small location in the brain. Particular emphasis was put on the role of the inflammatory process in AD progression. This represents one of the first models that uses graph theory combined with a systems biology approach to study AD.
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