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Explanation to patients for Alzheimer disease

You are Minnie's physician and just explained to her and her children that she has Alzheimer's disease (AD). The family has many questions regarding the disease; some of these are given below. Answer the following questions in a simple,
easy-to-understand manner:

What are the most current thoughts or theories on the cause of AD?
Which parts of the brain are affected by AD? What changes occur as the disease progresses? Describe at least two parts of the brain that are affected by the disease. What are their normal functions?
What neurotransmitters are involved in the disease, and how do the medications to treat the disease act upon those neurotransmitters?


Solution Preview

Hi there,

Thanks for allowing me to work on your questions.


At this moment, it is generally conceived that amyloid plaques and tau-containing neurofibrillary tangles gradually build up in the brain which causes the AD. This buildup leads to death of neurons in the brain and as a result connections between neurons are also lost.
Hippocampus is the region that gets affected first and most but other ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides an example how to explain Alzheimer disease to patients in a layman's language.