As many as 35 million people worldwide have Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia among adults over 60 years of age. That figure could reach 115 million by 2050, concludes the nonprofit Alzheimer's Disease International. In the U.S., about 5 percent of adults 65 to 74 have Alzheimer's, and nearly half of those age 85 and older may have it, according to figures of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
The predominant explanation for how Alzheimer's disease develops and ravages the brain are explained at a new site built by TheVisualMD. We present a few examples of the stunning graphics used on the site below. You can read the complete e-book at TheVisualMD landing page here.
Video Introduction: What Is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's: A Microscopic View
Neurons and the connections they make with one another, called synapses, are the keys to the brain's functions.
In Alzheimer's disease, an abnormal protein called amyloid beta begin to appear on the neurons, forming plaques and compromising brain activity.
Another protein implicated in Alzheimer's is the tau protein:
Besides age, other risk factors include family history, previous brain trauma, heart disease and gender (the prevalence rate for women over 70 is 16 percent, compared with men at 11 percent).
Despite much research, no drug exists to cure the disease or modify its relentless progression toward cognitive decline, although some drugs may lessen symptoms for a limited period. Some simple steps may help cut your chances of getting the disease or slow it down, such as pursuing an active life, eating right and staying socially engaged.