Computer Scientists at University of Texas Receive $2 MillionTo Investigate Early Alzheimer’s Development

Computer Scientists at University of Texas Receive $2 MillionTo Investigate Early Alzheimer’s Development
A recent communication from the University of Texas at Arlington reported that computer scientists led by Professor Heng Huang won a $2 million grant funded by the National Institutes of Health to investigate the possibility of predicting whether a person is predisposed to develop Alzheimer’s disease by analyzing complex genomics data. Alzheimer’s is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder which destroys memory and other vital mental functions. The disease usually progresses over time and during early stages, patients may suffer from mild symptoms like difficulties in remembering recent events. As the disease progresses, a number of other symptoms appear in patients that includes language problems, difficulty in thinking and understanding, changes in mood, and behavioral problems. At advanced stages of the disease, patients are often unable to recognize common things and could detach from family and society. Though the speed of disease progression varies from one patient to another, main life expectancy after the diagnosis is estimated to be between three to nine years. In the US, more than 3 million cases are recorded every year and statistics suggest that the number should quadruple by 2050. The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are mostly unknown but evidence and hypotheses collected to date suggest a number of risk factors like genetic predisposition (1% to 5% of cases), reduced synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, tau protein abnormalities, herpes simplex virus, and deposition of extracellular amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques, among others. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but the disease can be managed by medications, psychological intervention, caregiving, and feeding tubes in patients who have difficulties in s
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