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Patient Education: Diseases Conditions Treatments & Procedures

Alzheimer’s Disease

Introduction

Alzheimer's Disease is the most common form of dementia. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that develops gradually and is characterized by the destruction of nerve cells, especially in the areas of the brain vital to memory and learning. The pathological changes in the Alzheimer's brain include deterioration and loss of neurons (nerve cells) leading to brain atrophy (shrinkage), and the abnormal accumulation of proteins forming amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. In addition, neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine, norepinephrine, glutamate, and serotonin are affected in Alzheimer's Disease.