In 1901, Frau Auguste D, a 51 year-old patient was referred to German physician Alois Alzheimer. She presented with memory problems, unfounded suspicions of her husbands' infidelity, receptive aphasia, and expressive aphasia. Eventually her symptoms progressed and she succumbed to her illness. Alzheimer gained permission to perform an autopsy and found extensive shrinkage in the brain especially in the cortex which is the outer layer of the brain involved with memory and speech. He also discovered fatty deposits in small blood vessels, and abnormal deposits in and around dead or dying brain cells.
Alzheimer's findings entered medical literature in 1907 and the disease was named after him in 1910.
What is it?
Brain disorder that causes death of breath cells and tissue.
There is no cure.
It is progressive and will eventually lead to death. The prognosis of a patient with Alzheimer's is typically four to six years depending on the patients other conditions.
It is the most common form of dementia which is the general term given to the loss of memory and other intellectual abilities that interfere with activities of daily living.
Typically occurs in older adults but there are currently 500,000 people living with the disease in their 30's, 40's or 50's. Younger onset Alzheimer's is considered anyone afflicted with the disease under the age of 65.
Heredity. Twenty percent of all Alzheimer's cases are related to genetic inheritance.
Plaques - Build-up between nerve cells in the brain.
Tangles - Twisted fibers of protein that build up in dying cells.
- No definitive laboratory tests to diagnose alzheimer's currently. Diagnosis is usually made through doctor evaluation, patient and family history.
1. Memory loss. While this is a normal component of aging, someone with Alzheimer's will have a particularly difficult time recalling and retaining new information. It is...