From the Big Bang theory to the fractal geometry: a systemic reflection for Alzheimer’s disease

Maria Gabriela Valle Gottlieb

Abstract


The continuous process of the universe expansion is triggering global cooling, energy loss and its “degeneration”. Delineating an analogy between the process of expansion or “aging” of the universe and neurodegeneration, such as occurs in Alzheimer’s disease, is a difficult and complex task. However, assuming that we are an integral part of the universe, sharing the same atoms and particles as well as the same laws that govern it, we can make use of philosophical, scientific and technological tools to help us better understand both the universal and neurodegenerative phenomena. The complexity and chaos theories and fractal geometry bring light on these issues and provide a better understanding about this inseparable, self-creative, self-organized “disorder” which involves all complex systems. In addition, fractal geometry has been described as a useful tool to improve the description of neurons’ image. However, fractal dimension alone does not completely specify the morphology of a cell, in fact it is a statistical parameter to identify and differentiate the neuronal cell types. Studies have shown that fractal dimension is correlated with cognitive impairment, and that the fractal dimension analysis can be a useful method for assessing the Alzheimer’s disease progression. Within this context, the purpose of this manuscript is to perform a systemic reflection on what may be associated with Alzheimer’s disease in the light of concepts of physics, mathematics and biological sciences.


Keywords


Aging; Universe; Complexity theory; Chaos theory; Fractal geometry; Alzheimer’s disease.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15448/2357-9641.2015.1.22690

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