Alzheimer’s disease

GC: n

S: – (last access: 21 November 2013), (last access: 14 October 2015); (last access: 14 October 2015).

N: 1. Alzheimer disease, degenerative brain disorder that develops in mid-to-late adulthood. It results in a progressive and irreversible decline in memory and a deterioration of various other cognitive abilities. The disease is characterized by the destruction of nerve cells and neural connections in the cerebral cortex of the brain and by a significant loss of brain mass.
2. The disease was first described in 1906 by German neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer. By the early 21st century it was recognized as the most common form of dementia among older persons. An estimated 35.6 million people worldwide were living with dementia in 2010, and that figure was expected to double over the course of the next two decades.
3. There is no single diagnostic test that can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. The process involves several tests and may take more than a day. These tests make it possible to diagnosis Alzheimer’s with an accuracy of about 90 percent.
4. There are two abnormal structures in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease — amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles:
Amyloid Plagues — Amyloid plaques are sticky clumps or patches of protein surrounded by the debris of dying nerve cells in the brain.
Neurofibrillary Tangles — These are the damaged remains of protein called tau, which are required for normal brain function. In Alzheimer’s, threads of tau protein become twisted, which researchers believe may damage neurons and cause them to die.
Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available and research continues. Although current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, they can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
5. Cultural Interrelation:

  • Reality: We can mention, among other famous people who died of Alzheimer’s Disease, Rita Hayworth (1918-1987), James Stewart (1908-1997), Charles Bronson (1921-2003), Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), Charlton Heston (1923-2008), Peter Falk (1927-2011) and Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013).
  • Fiction: We can mention the film The Notebook (2004) directed by Nick Cassavetes and the novel Still Alice (2007) written by Lisa Genova and its movie adaptation directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash West in 2014.

S: 1 & 2. EncBrit – (last access: 21 November 2013). 3. – (last access: 21 November 2013). 4. UCSF – (last access: 21 November 2013). 5.,4267,1246443,00.html (last access: 7 February 2016); (last access: 7 February 2016); (last access: 7 February 2016).

SYN: 1. alzheimer’s disease, AD. 2. Alzheimer disease, AD, Alzheimer’s dementia, Alzheimer dementia, senile dementia of the Alzheimer type.

S: 1. GDT (last access: 21 November 2013). 2. TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 21 November 2013).

CR: anterograde amnesia, memory, mnemonics, retrograde amnesia.