Alzheimer's Disease

Common Name(s)

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive condition of the brain that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. It is the most common form of dementia, a term that refers to any condition that worsens mental functioning over time. Alzheimer's disease is most common in individuals 65 years and older, but cases of early onset have been documented in individuals in their 40s and 50s.

Alzheimer's is caused by two abnormal protein structures ("plaques" which are protein deposits and "tangles" which are twisted protein fibers) found in the brain tissue along with the loss of connection between neurons (nerve cells in the brains). These abnormalities cause the brain cells to lose normal function. It is uncertain what causes these abnormalities to develop but several genes have been identified as risk factors. Environmental factors and behaviors such as alcoholism have been linked to Alzheimer's disease as well.

The first sign of Alzheimer's is an inability to remember newly learned information. As the condition progresses over time, the individual may experience worsening memory loss, changes in mood or behavior and eventually severe confusion (in terms of time, events, or places), disorientation, and unnecessary suspicions about family or others. The individual may progress to the point that he or she cannot take care of him or herself, eat or swallow, speak, or walk. A diagnosis for Alzheimer’s is not definitive but is based upon a combination of looking at someone's family history, a physical exam, and other tests. Plaques and tangles are not seen on MRI or other brain scans. Genetic testing may also be helpful in some familial cases.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer's, but drug treatments are available to slow the progression, manage the symptoms, and improve quality of life. If you or someone you know is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, contact your doctor to discuss the most current treatment options.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Alzheimer's Disease" for support, advocacy or research.

Alzheimer's Association

The mission of the Alzheimer's Association is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Last Updated: 7 Jul 2015

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Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center

The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center was established by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to provide information to health professionals, patients and their families and the public about Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders.

Last Updated: 30 Oct 2014

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Alzheimer's Foundation of America

To provide optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families--through member organizations dedicated to improving quality of life.

Last Updated: 9 Apr 2014

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HealthyWomen

HealthyWomen (HW) is the nation's leading independent health information source for women. Our core mission is to educate, inform and empower women to make smart health choices for themselves and their families. For more than 20 years, millions of women have been coming to HW for answers to their most pressing and personal health care questions. Through our wide array of online and print publications, HW provides health information that is original, objective, reviewed by medical experts and reflective of the advances in evidence-based health research.

Last Updated: 9 Jul 2015

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National Endowment for Alzheimer's Research

At NEAR, our mission is to investigate the underlying causes of Alzheimer's and to develop rapid clinical interventions both for Alzheimer's and other brain disorders. A secondary mission is to promote public awareness and education with respect to Alzheimer's disease and related dementia, and to encourage the involvement of individuals, businesses, foundations, and government in finding a cure.

Last Updated: 20 Dec 2012

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General Support Organizations

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How do you compare to others with this condition?

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Alzheimer's Disease" for support, advocacy or research.

Alzheimer's Association

The mission of the Alzheimer's Association is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

http://www.alz.org

Last Updated: 7 Jul 2015

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Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center

The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center was established by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to provide information to health professionals, patients and their families and the public about Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders.

http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers

Last Updated: 30 Oct 2014

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Alzheimer's Foundation of America

To provide optimal care and services to individuals confronting dementia, and to their caregivers and families--through member organizations dedicated to improving quality of life.

http://www.alzfdn.org

Last Updated: 9 Apr 2014

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HealthyWomen

HealthyWomen (HW) is the nation's leading independent health information source for women. Our core mission is to educate, inform and empower women to make smart health choices for themselves and their families. For more than 20 years, millions of women have been coming to HW for answers to their most pressing and personal health care questions. Through our wide array of online and print publications, HW provides health information that is original, objective, reviewed by medical experts and reflective of the advances in evidence-based health research.

http://www.healthywomen.org

Last Updated: 9 Jul 2015

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National Endowment for Alzheimer's Research

At NEAR, our mission is to investigate the underlying causes of Alzheimer's and to develop rapid clinical interventions both for Alzheimer's and other brain disorders. A secondary mission is to promote public awareness and education with respect to Alzheimer's disease and related dementia, and to encourage the involvement of individuals, businesses, foundations, and government in finding a cure.

http://www.memorymatters.org

Last Updated: 20 Dec 2012

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General Support Organizations

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General Resources

Alzheimer's Association Helpline

The Alzheimer's Association 24/7 Helpline provides reliable information and support to all those who need assistance. Call us toll-free anytime day or night at 800.272.3900. Our 24/7 Helpline serves people with memory loss, caregivers, health care professionals and the public.

Updated 15 Oct 2012

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Alzheimer's Disease" returned 6624 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Associations of plasma clusterin and Alzheimer's disease-related MRI markers in adults at mid-life: The CARDIA Brain MRI sub-study.
 

Author(s): Thaddeus Haight, R Nick Bryan, Osorio Meirelles, Russell Tracy, Myriam Fornage, Melissa Richard, Ilya Nasrallah, Kristine Yaffe, David R Jacobs, Cora Lewis, Pamela Schreiner, Stephen Sidney, Christos Davatzikos, Lenore J Launer

Journal:

 

Clinical and epidemiological studies of older persons have implicated clusterin in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. In the context of identifying early biomarkers of risk, we examined associations of plasma clusterin and characteristics of AD in middle-aged individuals from the community.

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Acupuncture for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: a randomized controlled trial.
 

Author(s): Yujie Jia, Xuezhu Zhang, Jianchun Yu, Jingxian Han, Tao Yu, Jiangwei Shi, Lan Zhao, Kun Nie

Journal:

 

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. However, none of medical treatment can stop or reverse the underlying neurodegenerative of AD at present. Acupuncture has attracted more and more attention in recent years due to its efficacy and very few side effects. ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Assessing robustness of hazard ratio estimates to outcome misclassification in longitudinal panel studies with application to Alzheimer's disease.
 

Author(s): Le Wang, Rebecca A Hubbard, Rod L Walker, Edward B Lee, Eric B Larson, Paul K Crane

Journal:

 

Analyses of imperfectly assessed time to event outcomes give rise to biased hazard ratio estimates. This bias is a common challenge for studies of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) because AD neuropathology can only be identified through brain autopsy and is therefore not available for most ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Alzheimer's Disease" returned 1791 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

[Development of SPECT Probes for In Vivo Imaging of β-Amyloid and Tau Aggregates in the Alzheimer's Disease Brain].
 

Author(s): Hiroyuki Watanabe

Journal: Yakugaku Zasshi. 2017 ;137(11):1361-1365.

 

 Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of irreversible dementia among elderly people. In the postmortem brains of AD patients, the deposition of senile plaques composed of β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides and neurofibrillary tangles composed of highly phosphorylated tau proteins ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Alzheimer's disease and cytokine IL-10 gene polymorphisms: is there an association?
 

Author(s): Carolina Antunes Magalhães, Maria das Graças Carvalho, Lirlândia Pires de Sousa, Paulo Caramelli, Karina Braga Gomes

Journal: Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2017 Sep;75(9):649-656.

 

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. In the last 15 years, a new theory has proposed the autoimmune mechanism as a trigger for AD. Studies on the association between AD and inflammatory biomarkers have yielded controversial results. Interleukin-10 (IL-10), ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Microglia in Alzheimer's disease.
 

Author(s): Heela Sarlus, Michael T Heneka

Journal: J. Clin. Invest.. 2017 Sep;127(9):3240-3249.

 

Microglia are brain-resident myeloid cells that mediate key functions to support the CNS. Microglia express a wide range of receptors that act as molecular sensors, which recognize exogenous or endogenous CNS insults and initiate an immune response. In addition to their classical ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Memantine Treatment in Alzheimer's Disease Patients
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Alzheimer Disease

 

Last Updated: 25 May 2017

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Last Updated: 17 Jan 2017

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Blood Biomarker of Alzheimer's Disease (AD)
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Alzheimer Disease

 

Last Updated: 31 Jan 2018

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