Conditions InDepth: Alzheimer's Disease
- Difficulty with short term memory (often with maintenance of long term memories)
- Forgetting recent events and conversations
- Impaired orientation
- Misplacing items
- Poor judgment and insight
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Difficulty with cooking, dressing, shopping, finances
- Changes in behavior and mood
|Areas of the Brain Affected by Alzheimer's Disease|
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- Neurofibrillary tangles—These are found inside nerve cells in the hippocampus and temporal and frontal lobes of the brain. A type of protein called tau is found within these tangles.
- Neuritic plaques—Located outside the nerve cells, the plaques are surrounded by dying neurons (nerve cells) and contain a sticky protein called beta amyloid. The presence of the plaque seems to be linked to reduction of an important chemical called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine helps neurons relay messages in the brain and is essential for memory and learning.
Alzheimer's disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated July 11, 2012. Accessed August 22, 2012.
Alzheimer's disease medications fact sheet. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/Publications/medicationsfs.htm . Updated July 2010. Accessed August 22, 2012.
What is Alzheimer's? Alzheimer’s Association website. Available at: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers%5Fdisease%5Fwhat%5Fis%5Falzheimers.asp . Accessed August 22, 2012.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -
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