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

View Details
Logo
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

View Details
Logo
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

View Details
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

View Details
Logo
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

View Details

 

General Support Organizations

Not finding the support you need? Show General Support Organizations

 
 
Top

How do you compare to others with this condition?

Privately answer questions about your health. Let resources, you select, come to you.

Anonymously share and see how your answers compare with others with this condition while privately providing key pieces of information to medical researchers, disease advocacy groups, and others ONLY YOU select to help speed up cures and better alternatives.

 
 

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

View Details
Logo
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

View Details
Logo
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

View Details
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

View Details
Logo
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

View Details

 

General Support Organizations

Not finding the support you need? Show General Support Organizations

 
 
 
 
Top

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

Go To URL
 
 
Top

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 5804 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Intra-Individual Variability of Physical Activity in Older Adults With and Without Mild Alzheimer's Disease.
 

Author(s): Amber Watts, Ryan W Walters, Lesa Hoffman, Jonathan Templin

Journal:

 

Physical activity shows promise for protection against cognitive decline in older adults with and without Alzheimer's disease (AD). To better understand barriers to adoption of physical activity in this population, a clear understanding of daily and weekly activity patterns is needed. ...

Last Updated: 21 Apr 2016

Go To URL
Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes through Integrated Study of Alzheimer's Disease Affected Brain Regions.
 

Author(s): Nisha Puthiyedth, Carlos Riveros, Regina Berretta, Pablo Moscato

Journal:

 

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in older adults that damages the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behaviour. The identification of differentially expressed genes and related pathways among affected brain regions can provide more information ...

Last Updated: 7 Apr 2016

Go To URL

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 1471 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Treatment of Cognitive Deficits in Alzheimer's disease: A psychopharmacological review.
 

Author(s): Carlos Campos, Nuno Barbosa Rocha, Renata Teles Vieira, Susana A Rocha, Diogo Telles-Correia, Flávia Paes, Tifei Yuan, Antonio Egidio Nardi, Oscar Arias-Carrión, Sergio Machado, Leonardo Caixeta

Journal: Psychiatr Danub. 2016 Mar;28(1):2-12.

 

The growing and aging population has contributed to the increased prevalence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other types of dementia in the world. AD is a progressive and degenerative brain disease with an onset characterized by episodic memory impairments, although progressive deficits ...

Last Updated: 4 Mar 2016

Go To URL
Is Mild Cognitive Impairment a Precursor of Alzheimer's Disease? Short Review.
 

Author(s): Jana Janoutová, Omar Šerý, Ladislav Hosák, Vladimír Janout

Journal: Cent. Eur. J. Public Health. 2015 Dec;23(4):365-7.

 

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) may be a precursor of Alzheimer's disease (AD). There is a boundary area between normal aging and dementia. In practice, the term "age related cognitive decline" has been used interchangeably with "normal aging". Alternatively, the term "aging associated ...

Last Updated: 4 Feb 2016

Go To URL
Cerebral small vessel disease and Alzheimer's disease.
 

Author(s): Zhiyou Cai, Chuanling Wang, Wenbo He, Hanjun Tu, Zhengang Tang, Ming Xiao, Liang-Jun Yan

Journal:

 

Cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) is a group of pathological processes with multifarious etiology and pathogenesis that are involved into the small arteries, arterioles, venules, and capillaries of the brain. CSVD mainly contains lacunar infarct or lacunar stroke, leukoaraiosis, ...

Last Updated: 25 Nov 2015

Go To URL
 
 
Top

Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

There are currently no related results available in Genetics Home Reference.

 
 
Top

Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Study
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Alzheimer Disease; Late Onset Alzheimer Disease; Dementia

 

Last Updated: 22 Feb 2016

Go to URL
A Single Site, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo Controlled Trial of NIC5-15 in Subjects With Alzheimer's Disease
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Alzheimer's Disease; Dementia

 

Last Updated: 20 Aug 2013

Go to URL
Efficacy and Safety Trial of Verubecestat (MK-8931) in Participants With Prodromal Alzheimer's Disease (MK-8931-019)
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment; Alzheimer's Disease; Prodromal Alzheimer's Disease

 

Last Updated: 25 Aug 2016

Go to URL