The most common form of dementia, occurring in middle age or later. It is characterized by memory impairment and, as the disease progresses, language difficulties, apraxia, and visuospatial problems. At post mortem there are excess deposits of amyloid protein and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. In cases of familial Alzheimer’s, mutations in three genes have so far been detected; patients with these genes usually have early-onset (<65 years) disease. Mutations in four other genes have been implicated in the more common late-onset form of the disease. The demonstration of damage to the cholinergic pathways has led to the development of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, which have been shown to slow disease progression. A. Alzheimer (1864–1915), German physician
http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ Website of the Alzheimer’s Disease Society: includes resources for health and care professionals
Subjects: Science and Mathematics — Medicine and Health.