Alzheimer's Does to the Brain*
from the bottom to the top
|See Supplement Recommendation Plan for
The disease is
characterized by the gradual spread of plaques and clumps of tangled
fibers that disrupt the delicate organization of nerve cells in the
brain. As brain cells stop communicating with one another, they
atrophy — causing memory and reason to fade.
1. Tangles and
plaques first develop in the entorhinal cortex, a memory-processing
center essential for making new memories and retrieving old ones.
2. Over time,
they appear higher, invading the hippocampus, the part of the brain
that forms complex memories of events or objects.
3. Finally, the tangles and plaques reach the top of the brain, or
neocortex, the "executive" region that sorts through stimuli and
orchestrates all behavior.
brain ravaged by Alzheimer's (right) shrinks in size and
weight as the disease destroys neural tissue. The once tightly
packed rut and grooves on the surface of a healthy cerebral cortex (left) become visibly pitted with gaps and crevices.