Alzheimer's disease neuropathology - stages
Professor Donna Wilcock describes the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease as it progresses from the hippocampus to other brain areas.
The staging of Alzheimerâ€™s disease, called the Braak and Braak staging, is based on the movement of the pathology throughout the brain. In the earliest stages of Alzheimerâ€™s disease, you see the pathology in the hippocampus and a part of the cortex that sits behind the hippocampus, called the entorhinal cortex. These seem to be the earliest parts of the brain affected, and this reflects in the clinical outcome, because the hippocampus is responsible for the formation of new memory. The stereotypical behavior of an Alzheimerâ€™s patient that I think everybody out there thinks about is that they can talk about what happened to them 50 years ago during the war, letâ€™s say, but they do not remember what they had for breakfast. So, itâ€™s the remembering what you had for breakfast that the hippocampus does â€“ this is the formation of new memories. As the disease progresses, the pathology seems to move up through the other cortical areas that are called association cortices, and this is where you tend to pull together bits of information from, letâ€™s say, your visual memories, your memories of smells, your memories of taste. All of these things come together in the association cortices. And so, as these become affected, this is when you start having problems with recalling things that maybe happened a long time ago. At this point they may not remember their children and their parents, or remember the names of their grandchildren. Then, as it moves even further, then the Alzheimerâ€™s [disease] patients seem to lose a sense of taste and smell, so they may eat some chocolate, but it tastes to them, in their recall of that, it tastes like curry, letâ€™s say. So, they are not able to pull the different things together and come up with the correct response. Ultimately, the respiratory centers of the brain get affected, the chewing motor mechanisms become affected, and that is very late in the disease process.
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An overview of Alzheimer's disease-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
Professor Donna Wilcock discusses early-onset Alzheimer's disease, which can reach an advanced stage by the age of 50 or 60 years.
Professor Kenneth Kosik discusses some of the brain regions specifically associated with Alzheimer's disease, including the hippocampus, amygdala, and entorhinal cortex.
Professor Donna Wilcock discusses a new biological technique for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease using PET neuroimaging.
Professor Donna Wilcock explains that Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed clinically by a battery of tests that can take a full day to administer.
Professor Donna Wilcock describes amyloid plaques as clumps of protein in the brain that are one of the three hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.
Professor Donna Wilcock dscusses the cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease, which focuses on cholinergic neurons. The hypothesis has not been supported.
Professor Donna Wilcock explains that neurotransmitter hypotheses of Alzheimer's disease are largely unspecific. Nevertheless, glutamate, serotonin, and NPY have elicited interest.
Professor Donna Wilcock explains that Aricept can only provide short-term benefit in treating Alzheimer's disease.
Professor Donna Wilcock discusses late-onset Alzheimer's disease, which involves the clearance and/or production of the amyloid beta protein.