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 6400 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

MRI-assessed atrophy subtypes in Alzheimer's disease and the cognitive reserve hypothesis.
 

Author(s): Karin Persson, Rannveig Sakshaug Eldholm, Maria Lage Barca, Lena Cavallin, Daniel Ferreira, Anne-Brita Knapskog, Geir Selbæk, Anne Brækhus, Ingvild Saltvedt, Eric Westman, Knut Engedal

Journal:

 

MRI assessment of the brain has demonstrated four different patterns of atrophy in patients with Alzheimer's disease dementia (AD): typical AD, limbic-predominant AD, hippocampal-sparing AD, and a subtype with minimal atrophy, previously referred to as no-atrophy AD. The aim of the ...

Last Updated: 16 Oct 2017

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Caspase-8, association with Alzheimer's Disease and functional analysis of rare variants.
 

Author(s): Jan Rehker, Johanna Rodhe, Ryan R Nesbitt, Evan A Boyle, Beth K Martin, Jenny Lord, Ilker Karaca, Adam Naj, Frank Jessen, Seppo Helisalmi, Hilkka Soininen, Mikko Hiltunen, Alfredo Ramirez, Martin Scherer, Lindsay A Farrer, Jonathan L Haines, Margaret A Pericak-Vance, Wendy H Raskind, Carlos Cruchaga, Gerard D Schellenberg, Bertrand Joseph, Zoran Brkanac

Journal:

 

The accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide (Amyloid cascade hypothesis), an APP protein cleavage product, is a leading hypothesis in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In order to identify additional AD risk genes, we performed targeted sequencing and rare variant burden ...

Last Updated: 6 Oct 2017

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Mild cognitive impairment and progression to dementia of Alzheimer's disease.
 

Author(s): Ana Beatriz Quintes Steiner, Alessandro Ferrari Jacinto, Vânia Ferreira de Sá Mayoral, Sonia Maria Dozzi Brucki, Vanessa de Albuquerque Citero

Journal: Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2017 Jul;63(7):651-655.

 

The increase in life expectancy in the Brazilian population raises questions about the preparation of the public health system in identifying elderly patients with signs of cognitive impairment. Currently, as a consequence of the long duration of preclinical phase of Alzheimer's disease, ...

Last Updated: 4 Oct 2017

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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 1746 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

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: 1 Sep 2017

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APP mouse models for Alzheimer's disease preclinical studies.
 

Author(s): Hiroki Sasaguri, Per Nilsson, Shoko Hashimoto, Kenichi Nagata, Takashi Saito, Bart De Strooper, John Hardy, Robert Vassar, Bengt Winblad, Takaomi C Saido

Journal: EMBO J.. 2017 Sep;36(17):2473-2487.

 

Animal models of human diseases that accurately recapitulate clinical pathology are indispensable for understanding molecular mechanisms and advancing preclinical studies. The Alzheimer's disease (AD) research community has historically used first-generation transgenic (Tg) mouse ...

Last Updated: 3 Aug 2017

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[Transmission of pathogenic protein aggregates in Alzheimer's disease].
 

Author(s): A L Schwarzman, S V Sarantseva

Journal: Mol. Biol. (Mosk.). ;51(3):418-422.

 

Deposits of amyloid peptide Aβ and intracellular aggregates of hyperphosphorylated tau protein in the brain of patients are major neuropathological features of Alzheimer's disease (AD). For a long time, the possibility of horizontal transmission of Aβ aggregates from cell to cell ...

Last Updated: 14 Jul 2017

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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: 13 Oct 2016

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Riluzole in Mild Alzheimer's Disease
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Alzheimer's Disease

 

Last Updated: 21 Sep 2017

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