Alzheimer's disease


Alzheimer's disease
Alz·hei·mer's disease 'älts-.hī-mərz-, 'ȯlts-, 'alts-, 'alz- also Alzheimer disease -mər n a degenerative brain disease of unknown cause that is the most common form of dementia, that usu. starts in late middle age or in old age as a memory loss for recent events spreading to memories for more distant events and progressing over the course of five to ten years to a profound intellectual decline characterized by dementia and personal helplessness, and that is marked histologically by the degeneration of brain neurons esp. in the cerebral cortex and by the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and plaques containing beta-amyloid abbr. AD called also Alzheimer's compare PRESENILE DEMENTIA
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.

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a progressive form of dementia occurring in middle age or later, characterized by loss of short-term memory, deterioration in behaviour and intellectual performance, and slowness of thought. The condition may be mimicked by severe depression. The demonstration of damage to the cholinergic pathways in the brain has led to great interest in drug treatments, but to date few of these have proved successful: the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, e.g. donepezil, have some benefit in helping to slow down the disease process for 6-12 months. Pathological studies have revealed excess amyloid protein in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. A genetic locus on chromosome 21 has been found for some inherited forms of Alzheimer's disease.
A. Alzheimer (1864-1915), German physician

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Alzheimer's disease — [älts′hī΄mərz] n. [after A. Alzheimer (1864 1915), Ger physician who first described it] a progressive, irreversible disease characterized by degeneration of the brain cells and commonly leading to severe dementia …   English World dictionary

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  • Alzheimer's disease — ► NOUN ▪ a form of progressive mental deterioration occurring in middle or old age. ORIGIN named after the German neurologist Alois Alzheimer (1864 1915) …   English terms dictionary

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  • Alzheimer's disease — noun Etymology: Alois Alzheimer died 1915 German physician Date: 1912 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 …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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