Disease, Alzheimer
A progressive degenerative disease of the brain that leads to dementia. On a cellular level, Alzheimer disease is characterized by unusual helical protein filaments in nerve cells (neurons) of the brain. These odd twisted filaments are called neurofibrillary tangles. On a functional level, there is degeneration of the cortical regions, especially the frontal and temporal lobes, of the brain. Alzheimer disease is common. According to the Alzheimer's Association, about 4 million Americans suffer from it. Many prominent people have had it, including US President Ronald Reagan. The German psychiatrist and pathologist Alois Alzheimer (1864-1915) first described this form of presenile dementia in 1907. (German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin named the disease in his honor.)

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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