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Therapeutic interventions aimed at circadian rhythm disturbances in Alzheimer disease

Nijland, J. (2012) Therapeutic interventions aimed at circadian rhythm disturbances in Alzheimer disease. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease without a known cure to date. The number of individuals suffering from AD is expected to increase dramatically the upcoming decades, making it a global health issue. In as many as 35-50 % of the AD patients symptoms of circadian rhythm disturbances are observed. These symptoms, rather than the cognitive decline, are often the primary cause of institutionalization. The relationship between AD and circadian rhythms is complex. The neurodegenerative processes specific to AD alter several aspects of the circadian timing system, which explains the circadian rhythm disturbances. Conversely, there is increasing evidence that circadian rhythms and sleep affect AD pathology. Currently prescribed drugs are only minimally effective and are associated with a lot of side effects. Interventions based on chronobiological principles offer an interesting and attractive alternative for improving circadian rhythm disturbances in AD patients. Interventions that appear promising are bright light therapy, melatonin supplementation and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Despite the fact that there are still uncertainties about the mechanisms and effectiveness of these interventions, the chronobiological approach seems to be a promising and viable option to reduce circadian rhythm disturbances in AD patients and in this way to improve their level of independence and quality of life. Furthermore, improvement of circadian rhythmicity may even influence AD pathology.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:49
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:49

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