Alzheimer | Open Access Journals

Neurological Disorders

ISSN: 2329-6895

Open Access


Alzheimer's disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder which slowly destroys memory and thinking abilities, and ultimately the ability to perform the simplest tasks. Symptoms first appear in most people with the disease — those with the late-onset type — in their mid-60s. Early-onset Alzheimer's occurs between the 30s and mid-60s of a person, and is extremely rare. Alzheimer's disease is the most prevalent cause of dementia among the elderly. Dr. Alois Alzheimer is named for the disorder. Dr Alzheimer noticed changes in a woman's brain tissue that had died from an unusual mental illness in 1906. Her symptoms included loss of memory, language issues and unpredictable behaviour. He studied her brain after she died and found several odd clumps (now called amyloid plaques) and twisted bundles of fibers (now called neurofibrillary, or tau, tangles). These brain plaques and tangles are still considered some of Alzheimer's disease's main characteristics. Another feature is the loss of the connections within the brain between nerve cells (neurons). Neurons relay signals to muscles and organs in the body from various parts of the brain and from the brain. Many other complex changes to the brain are thought to also play a role in Alzheimer's. This damage appears initially to occur in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that is essential in memory formation. Additional parts of the brain are damaged when neurons die. Damage is widespread through the final stage of Alzheimer's and the brain tissue has shrunk significantly.

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