Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological brain disorder named after a German physician, Alois Alzheimer, who first described it in 1906.
Alzheimer's disease is the most commonform of dementia, a group of disorders that impairs mental functioning.
At the moment, Alzheimer's is progressive and irreversible. Abnormal changes in the brain worsen over time, eventuallyinterfering with many aspects of brain function. Memory loss is one of the earliest symptoms, along with a gradual decline of other intellectual and thinking abilities, called cognitive functions, and changesin personality or behavior. Alzheimer's advances in stages, progressing from mild forgetfulness and cognitive impairment to widespread loss of mental abilities.
In advanced stages of the disease,people become dependent on others for every aspect of their care.
The causes of Alzheimer's disease are not yet fully understood, although scientists know it develops as a result of a complexcascade of biological processes that take place over many years inside the brain, and believe it could be linked to childhood experiences.
The losses in cognitive functions such as memory are accompaniedby changes in the brain, including the build-up of amyloid plaques and tau-containing neurofibrillary tangles, which result in the death of brain cells and the breakdown of the connections betweenthem. Amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are the primary hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. Plaques are dense deposits of protein and cellular material outside and around the brain's nerve cells.Tangles are twisted fibers that build up inside the nerve cells.
Scientists have known about plaques and tangles since 1906, when a German physician, Dr. Alois Alzheimer, first identified them inthe brain of woman who had died after suffering paranoid delusions and psychosis. Intensive research efforts of the last two decades have revealed much about their composition, how they form, and...