Alzheimers Disease

How can we stop it

The Basics

Your brain is your most powerful organ, yet weighs only about three pounds. It has a texture similar to firm jelly.It has three main parts:The cerebrum fills up most of your skull. It is involved in remembering, problem solving, thinking, and feeling. It also controls movement. The cerebellum sits at the back of your head, under the cerebrum. It controls coordination and balance. The brain stem sits beneath your cerebrum in front of your cerebellum. It connects the brain to the spinal cord and controls automatic functions such as breathing, digestion, heart rate and blood pressure.

Alzheimers disease

Alzheimer's disease leads to nerve cell death and tissue loss throughout the brain. Over time, the brain shrinks dramatically, affecting nearly all its functions.In the Alzheimer's brain:The cortex shrivels up, damaging areas involved in thinking, planning and remembering. Shrinkage is especially severe in the hippocampus, an area of the cortex that plays a key role in formation of new memories. Ventricles (fluid-filled spaces within the brain) grow larger.

Effects of Alzheimer's disease

Scientists can also see the terrible effects of Alzheimer's disease when they look at brain tissue under the microscope:Alzheimer's tissue has many fewer nerve cells and synapses than a healthy brain. Plaques, abnormal clusters of protein fragments, build up between nerve cells. Dead and dying nerve cells contain tangles, which are made up of twisted strands of another protein. Scientists are not absolutely sure what causes cell death and tissue loss in the Alzheimer's brain, but plaques and tangles are prime suspects.