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 5293 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

[Association between angiotensin-converting enzyme gene polymorphism and Alzheimer's disease].
 

Author(s): Jinfeng Deng, Yanyao Deng, Wei Li, Xialu Feng, Zhuling Yu, Yan Zhao, Deren Hou

Journal: Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2015 Aug;35(9):1325-30.

 

To determine the association between the polymorphism of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) gene and Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Last Updated: 25 Sep 2015

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Modulation of Renin-Angiotensin System May Slow Conversion from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer's Disease.
 

Author(s): Whitney Wharton, Felicia C Goldstein, Liping Zhao, Kyle Steenland, Allan I Levey, Ihab Hajjar

Journal: J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Sep;63(9):1749-56.

 

To assess the effect of modulation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) on conversion to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cognitive decline in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and the effect of the permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and race on the potential relationship ...

Last Updated: 22 Sep 2015

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Phospholipid dysregulation contributes to ApoE4-associated cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis.
 

Author(s): Li Zhu, Minghao Zhong, Gregory A Elder, Mary Sano, David M Holtzman, Sam Gandy, Christopher Cardozo, Vahram Haroutunian, Nikolaos K Robakis, Dongming Cai

Journal: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. 2015 Sep;112(38):11965-70.

 

The apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) allele is the strongest genetic risk factor for developing sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the mechanisms underlying the pathogenic nature of ApoE4 are not well understood. In this study, we have found that ApoE proteins are critical determinants ...

Last Updated: 23 Sep 2015

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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 1362 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers in Familial Forms of Alzheimer's Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia.
 

Author(s): Nina Rostgaard, Gunhild Waldemar, Jørgen Erik Nielsen, Anja Hviid Simonsen

Journal: Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2015 ;40(1-2):54-62.

 

As dementia is a fast-growing health care problem, it is becoming an increasingly urgent need to provide an early diagnosis in order to offer patients the best medical treatment and care. Validated biomarkers which reflect the pathology and disease progression are essential for diagnosis ...

Last Updated: 3 Jul 2015

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[Nutritional approaches to modulate oxidative stress that induce Alzheimer's disease. Nutritional approaches to prevent Alzheimer's disease].
 

Author(s): Humberto Herman Lara, Eduardo Javier Alanís-Garza, María Fernanda Estrada Puente, Lucía Liliana Mureyko, David Alejandro Alarcón Torres, Liliana Ixtepan Turrent

Journal: Gac Med Mex. ;151(2):245-51.

 

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in the world; symptoms first appear after age 65 and have a progressive evolution. Expecting an increase on its incidence and knowing there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease, it is a necessity to prevent progression. ...

Last Updated: 7 May 2015

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Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of neurovascular dysfunction in mild dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
 

Author(s): Melanie D Sweeney, Abhay P Sagare, Berislav V Zlokovic

Journal: J. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab.. 2015 Jul;35(7):1055-68.

 

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of age-related dementias. In addition to genetics, environment, and lifestyle, growing evidence supports vascular contributions to dementias including dementia because of AD. Alzheimer's disease affects multiple cell types within the ...

Last Updated: 30 Jun 2015

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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: 24 Mar 2015

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Sleep Apnea in Early to Mid-Stage Alzheimer's Disease
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Early Onset Alzheimer Disease; Alzheimer Disease; Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndromes

 

Last Updated: 29 Jul 2015

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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

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