Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, eventually leading to death. It was first described by German neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and named after him. Most often, AD is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although it can occur much earlier. The exact cause remains unknown, but the disease is evidenced by thick, amyloid plaque tangles that block signaling at synapses. Although Alzheimer’s disease develops differently for every individual, in the early stages the most common symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events, known as short term memory loss. As the disease advances, symptoms can include confusion, irritability, aggression, mood swings, trouble with language, and long-term memory loss. As the person’s condition declines they often withdraw from family and society.Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Scientists are actively researching stem cell therapies for the disease.