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 5953 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Family history and APOE4 risk for Alzheimer's disease impact the neural correlates of episodic memory by early midlife.
 

Author(s): M N Rajah, L M K Wallace, E Ankudowich, E H Yu, A Swierkot, R Patel, M M Chakravarty, D Naumova, J Pruessner, R Joober, S Gauthier, S Pasvanis

Journal:

 

Episodic memory impairment is a consistent, pronounced deficit in pre-clinical stages of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). Individuals with risk factors for AD exhibit altered brain function several decades prior to the onset of AD-related symptoms. In the current event-related ...

Last Updated: 17 Apr 2017

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Awareness, apathy, and depression in Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment.
 

Author(s): Jean-Pierre Jacus

Journal:

 

Results from studies on awareness disorders in Alzheimer's disease (AD) are controversial because the methodologies, the "objects" of awareness, and the patients' pathologic stage all vary. Our study aimed to compare scores and correlates of awareness according to the stage of the ...

Last Updated: 17 Apr 2017

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Head-to-head comparison of 11C-PiB and 18F-FC119S for Aβ imaging in healthy subjects, mild cognitive impairment patients, and Alzheimer's disease patients.
 

Author(s): Byung Hyun Byun, Byung Il Kim, Su Yeon Park, In Ok Ko, Kyo Chul Lee, Kyeong Min Kim, Yu Kyeong Kim, Jun-Young Lee, Seon Hee Bu, Jung Hwa Kim, Dae Yoon Chi, Jeong Ho Ha, Sang Moo Lim

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Mar;96(12):e6441.

 

As a new beta amyloid (Aβ) positron emission tomography (PET) tracer, F-FC119S has shown higher cortical uptake in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) than that in healthy control subjects without adverse effects in a previous preliminary study. The aim of this study was to compare ...

Last Updated: 22 Mar 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 1605 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Dual role of cellular prion protein in normal host and Alzheimer's disease.
 

Author(s): Takashi Onodera

Journal: Proc. Jpn. Acad., Ser. B, Phys. Biol. Sci.. 2017 ;93(4):155-173.

 

Using PrP(C)-knockout cell lines, it has been shown that the inhibition of apoptosis through STI1 is mediated by PrP(C)-dependent SOD activation. Antioxidant PrP(C) may contribute to suppression of inflammasome activation. PrP(C) is functionally involved in copper metabolism, signal ...

Last Updated: 17 Apr 2017

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T Lymphocytes and Inflammatory Mediators in the Interplay between Brain and Blood in Alzheimer's Disease: Potential Pools of New Biomarkers.
 

Author(s): Anna Mietelska-Porowska, Urszula Wojda

Journal: J Immunol Res. 2017 ;2017():4626540.

 

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder and the main cause of dementia. The disease is among the leading medical concerns of the modern world, because only symptomatic therapies are available, and no reliable, easily accessible biomarkers exist for AD detection ...

Last Updated: 15 Mar 2017

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Potential Neuroprotective Effects of Adiponectin in Alzheimer's Disease.
 

Author(s): Roy Chun-Laam Ng, Koon-Ho Chan

Journal:

 

The adipocyte-secreted protein adiponectin (APN) has several protective functions in the peripheral tissues including insulin sensitizing, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects that may benefit neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). In addition, dysregulation ...

Last Updated: 11 Mar 2017

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Alzheimer's Disease, Art and Garden
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Alzheimer Disease

 

Last Updated: 29 Jul 2015

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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: 15 Sep 2016

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