In 1906, a German physician named Dr. Alois Alzheimer dealt with a patient that had been battling severe memory and confusion problems and had tremendous difficulty understanding questions and basic functions. Alzheimer suspected that the ailment had more to it than inherent memory loss. During an autopsy of the brain, he discovered that there were deposits of neuritic plaques surrounding the nerve cells and twisted fibers, known as neurofibrillary tangles, inside of the nerve cells. These observations became the definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The plaques and tangles that develop are a natural part of aging; however, they develop far more aggressively in Alzheimer’s victims. The plaques and tangles then block communication among nerve cells and disrupt the cells processes, eventually killing them. This destruction causes memory failure, personality changes, and problems carrying out everyday functions. Alzheimer’s especially attacks the memory. A victim in the later stage of the disease can...
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