Active learning strategies are important for facilitating deep learning that may be carried throughout life, but which is still finding its way into the college setting. Educators are not often trained in effective learning practices, which reduces the cognitive and proficiency gains of their students. By providing such guidance in the formative years of a teacher’s training, we hypothesize that the learning environment will be greatly enriched and enhanced. On the opposite end of the spectrum of life and cognition, the plague of dementia also warrants examination. Alzheimer’s disease (AD), an incurable neurodegenerative disorder progressing from the medial temporal lobe, is the most common form of dementia diagnosed in people over age 65, afflicting 30-40% of those 85 years and older. Despite its prevalence, effective treatments are limited because the principal causes and triggers of AD are not entirely understood. Growing evidence demonstrates that oxidative stress (OS) is an important factor contributing to the initiation and progression of AD. A key player contributing to this OS is iron, an essential trace mineral which is required for proper neuronal function, but which generates reactive oxygen species during redox transitions. Intracellular labile iron pool (LIP) levels are strictly regulated by proteins such as transferrin (import), ferroportin (export), and ferritin (storage). However, when these proteins become dysregulated, excess iron associates with other proteins such as amyloid beta (Aβ) and tau, aggregations of which are hallmarks of AD. In our hypothetical model, under extensive or prolonged OS, as occurs in AD, much larger Aβ plaques form because the stress does not abate. Hyperphosphorylated tau is the last resort to protect the cell against free iron, and aggregates when the LIP is elevated because neither iron storage in ferritin nor iron export through ferroportin can relieve the neurons of the free iron.



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active learning, pedagogy, immunohistochemistry, Alzheimer’s disease, iron, oxidative stress, ferritin, ferroportin, transferrin receptor