What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that destroys a person’s memory and thinking skills. Eventually, the disease inhibits a person’s ability to do daily tasks and simple activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in older adults, but it is not a normal part of aging.
Physical changes to a person’s brain tissue leads to the build-up of abnormal clumps (called amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (called neurofibrillary, or tau, tangles). These plaques and tangles are toxic to neurons. Neurons transmit messages between different parts of the brain, and from the brain to muscles and organs in the body. As these neurons die, people with Alzheimer’s disease experience symptoms like memory loss, difficulty with familiar tasks, confusion, trouble with language, or changes in judgment or decision-making.