Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Martin Beckerman
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia in the elderly. The primary brain regions affected by the disorder are the neocortex and hippocampus. It begins with deficits in recent memory, progresses to a more general loss of memory and personality alterations, and culminates in total loss of intellectual capabilities. It affects over 5 million Americans today and has surpassed diabetes as a cause of death.

Alzheimer’s disease was first described during a lecture by Alois Alzheimer in 1906. The name “Alzheimer’s disease” was introduced in 1910 by Alzheimer’s coworker and mentor Emil Kraepelin. As noted by Alzheimer and his colleagues, AD can be identified by the presence of two kinds of lesions – amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Amyloid plaques are deposits of what is now known to be the amyloid β (Aβ) protein, forming insoluble aggregates in the extracellular spaces. These are usually surrounded by abnormal cells and cell structures, apoptotic cells, and...


NMDA Receptor AMPA Receptor Aspartyl Protease Amyloid Cascade Hypothesis Small Oligomer 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oak RidgeUSA

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