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Medical Dictionary

Alzheimer's disease

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noun Alz·hei·mer's disease \ˈälts-ˌhī-mərz-, ˈȯlts-, ˈalts-, ˈalz-\

Medical Definition of Alzheimer's disease

  1. :  a degenerative brain disease of unknown cause that is the most common form of dementia, that usually starts in late middle age or in old age, that results in progressive memory loss, impaired thinking, disorientation, and changes in personality and mood, that leads in advanced cases to a profound decline in cognitive and physical functioning, and that is marked histologically by the degeneration of brain neurons especially in the cerebral cortex and by the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and plaques containing beta-amyloid <Behavioral problems, such as mood swings and agitation, may also be a part of the progression of Alzheimer's disease.—Allan Perel, The Staten Island (New York) Advance, 12 Nov. 2007> <Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia, affecting more than 15 million individuals worldwide.—Niklas Mattsson et al., The Journal of the American Medical Association, 22 July 2009> <… researchers in California have created mice carrying the gene for beta-amyloid protein, the principal component of the plaques riddling the brains of people with Alzheimer's.—Charlene Crabb, U.S. News & World Report, 4 Nov. 1991>—abbreviation AD

Biographical Note for alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer, Alois (1864–1915), German neurologist. Alzheimer was noted for his work in the pathology of the nervous system. The majority of his medical contributions centered on neurohistology. Alzheimer published papers on topics that include acute alcoholic delirium, schizophrenia, epilepsy, syphilitic meningomyelitis and encephalitis, gliosis, Huntington's disease, and hysterical bulbar paralysis. In 1894 he published a noteworthy description of arteriosclerotic atrophy of the brain. With Franz Nissl he produced Histologic and Histopathologic Studies of the Cerebral Cortex (1904–08), a six-volume encyclopedia that described normal and abnormal structures in the central nervous system. In 1907 he published his classic description of presenile dementia. The disease was later named in his honor by the German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin.

Variants of alzheimer's disease

also Alzheimer disease \-mər\ play or Alzheimer's

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