In Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia, nerve cells and chemicals called transmitters in the brain are destroyed and replaced by plaques and tangles, thereby obliterating communication among the cells. The destruction results in loss of memory and cognitive skills, such as reasoning and thought, that eventually impairs normal functioning and activities of daily living.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but treatments are available to lessen its impact. Nor is it preventable. Research indicates that cardiovascular health may have an impact, so lifestyle changes — healthy eating, exercise and weight control — may reduce the incidence of the disease.
Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging.
Inside the Brain: An Interactive Tour