In this article we propose a mathematical model for the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease based on transport and diffusion equations. We regard brain neurons as a continuous medium and structure them by their degree of malfunctioning. Two different mechanisms are assumed to be relevant for the temporal evolution of the disease: i) diffusion and agglomeration of soluble polymers of amyloid, produced by damaged neurons and ii) neuron-to-neuron prion-like transmission. We model these two processes by a system of Smoluchowski equations for the amyloid concentration, coupled to a kinetic-type transport equation for the distribution function of the degree of malfunctioning of neurons. The second equation contains an integral term describing the random onset of the disease as a jump process localized in particularly sensitive areas of the brain. Our numerical simulations are in good qualitative agreement with clinical images of the disease distribution in the brain which vary from early to advanced stages.

Alzheimer's disease: a mathematical model for onset and progression

Franchi, Bruno;Tesi, MARIA CARLA;
2017

Abstract

In this article we propose a mathematical model for the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease based on transport and diffusion equations. We regard brain neurons as a continuous medium and structure them by their degree of malfunctioning. Two different mechanisms are assumed to be relevant for the temporal evolution of the disease: i) diffusion and agglomeration of soluble polymers of amyloid, produced by damaged neurons and ii) neuron-to-neuron prion-like transmission. We model these two processes by a system of Smoluchowski equations for the amyloid concentration, coupled to a kinetic-type transport equation for the distribution function of the degree of malfunctioning of neurons. The second equation contains an integral term describing the random onset of the disease as a jump process localized in particularly sensitive areas of the brain. Our numerical simulations are in good qualitative agreement with clinical images of the disease distribution in the brain which vary from early to advanced stages.
Bertsch, Michiel; Franchi, Bruno; Marcello, Norina; Tesi, MARIA CARLA; Tosin, Andrea
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
1503.04669.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipo: Postprint
Licenza: Licenza per accesso libero gratuito
Dimensione 1.56 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.56 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/610336
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 12
  • Scopus 45
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 43
social impact