Causes and Development

  • Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be caused by the abnormal buildup of proteins in and around brain cells.
  • Amyloid plaques are deposits outside the brain cells — they prevent the brain from passing signals properly.
  • Neurofibrillary tangles are deposits inside the brain cells — they kill the cells by blocking off food and energy, causing dementia that worsens over time.
  • Neuronal death causes shrinking in the outer layer of the brain (the cortex) which is vital to memory, language and judgment — Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by this shrinkage