Biochemistry of Senile Dementia

  • Steven T. DeKosky
  • Norman H. Bass

Abstract

This review of senile dementia shall be confined to the major pathological entity, Alzheimer’s disease, a devastating and increasingly recognized illness that has become the focus of intensifying research over the decade since the first edition of this handbook. Demographic statistics showing the increasing life span of the American population, coupled with an enhanced age-related risk of affliction with Alzheimer’s disease, have heightened the urgency for research into what is and promises to become an increasingly common and debilitating health problem of the elderly.1 Dementia is defined as a progressive loss of memory and cognitive function over an extended period of time, i.e., months to years. Although there are several diseases that result in the insidious onset of cognitive loss during the middle years, Alzheimer’s disease represents the largest percentage of presently incurable senile dementias. However, major progress in identifying biochemical abnormalities of the brain in Alzheimer’s disease has been made during the past decade, distinguishing these patients from those with other disorders of cognitive function and from the changes occurring in normal, age-matched elderly controls. Specific biochemical and structural alterations associated with “normal” or “accelerated” aging need to be further differentiated from the progressive biochemical changes of Alzheimer’s disease.

Keywords

Locus Coeruleus Normal Aging Neurofibrillary Tangle Alzheimer Brain Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven T. DeKosky
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Norman H. Bass
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyLexington Veterans Administration Medical CenterLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologySanders Brown Research Center on AgingLexingtonUSA

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