What We Know Today About Alzheimer’s Disease by Alzheimer´s Association

What We Know Today About Alzheimer’s Disease


About Alzheimer's Inside the Brain Causes Treatments

What is Alzheimer’s


Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that damages and eventually destroys brain cells, leading to loss of memory, thinking and other brain functions. Alzheimer’s is not a part of normal aging, but results from a complex pattern of abnormal changes. It usually develops slowly and gradually gets worse as more brain cells wither and die. Ultimately, Alzheimer’s is fatal, and currently, there is no cure.

But today, there are more potential treatments in development than ever before as a result of the worldwide research effort to conquer this devastating disease. The Alzheimer’s Association is moving this research initiative forward by funding scientists who are searching for more answers and new treatments, collaborating with stakeholders, and raising the visibility of Alzheimer’s as a global health challenge.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, a general term used to describe various diseases and conditions that damage brain cells. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Other types include vascular dementia, mixed dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia.

Understanding and Attacking Alzheimer’s (approx 13 min.)

Hallmark changes of Alzheimer’s


Brain tour
Learn more about brain changes. The image above shows plaques and tangles in blue.
Scientists have identified several hallmark Alzheimer brain abnormalities, including:

  • Plaques, microscopic clumps of a protein called beta-amyloid peptide
  • Tangles, twisted microscopic strands of the protein tau (rhymes with “wow”)
  • Loss of connections among brain cells responsible for memory, learning and communication. These connections, or synapses, transmit information from cell to cell.
  • Inflammation resulting from the brain’s effort to fend off the lethal effects of the other changes under way
  • Eventual death of brain cells and severe tissue shrinkage

All these processes have a devastating impact on the brain, and over time, the brain shrinks dramatically, affecting nearly all its functions. Take our interactive Brain Tour to see Alzheimer changes in the brain.

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Growing awareness and concernKey events during the past 100 years spurred public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and ignited a massive research effort to learn more.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s


Patterns of plaques and tangles The most common early symptom is difficulty remembering newly learned information because Alzheimer changes typically begin in the part of the brain that affects learning. As Alzheimer’s advances through the brain it leads to increasingly severe symptoms, including disorientation, mood and behavior changes; deepening confusion about events, time and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers; more serious memory loss and behavior changes; and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking.

Related information


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About Anton Coleman, MD

I am a Behavioral Neurologist & Neuro-Endocrinologist with more than 27 years of experience and practice.
This entry was posted in AAICAD, alzheimer, Alzheimer's Association, Anton Coleman, behavioral, cognitive assessments, dementia, International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, M.D, mindfulness, naples, neurology, parkinson, prevention, Retain mindfulness, salsa teraphy, SALSA THERAPY, schizophrenia, SCREENING Cognitive Assessments, tango, tango teraphy, TANGO THERAPY. Bookmark the permalink.

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