Brain and Behavior

Brain Development

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is an age-related brain disease, in which abnormal growths called neurofibrillary tangles and amaloid plaques destroy the brain’s ability to function properly. These growths start in the hippocampus, where short-term memory is translated into long-term memory. Thus the cardinal feature of Alzheimer’s is loss of memory. As the disease progresses, other areas of the brain are affected and other psychological abilities deteriorate, including spatial orientation, executive functions, and eventually speech. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia, which refers to any condition that involves a permanent loss of cognitive abilities. While it is one of the most common forms of dementia, it is not the only one, and other dementias, such as vascular dementia, can also cause cognitive decline in old age.


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