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Neurocognitive Disorder due to Alzheimer’s Disease: Neuropathology and Dysfunction

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder and is one of many different types of dementia characterized by problems with memory, language, cognitive functioning, and behavior. The onset is insidious, with the symptoms developing over a period of many years and progressing to the extent that daily tasks are severely affected. The focus here is on the neuropathology and cognitive, behavioral, and emotional impairment associated with AD.

Neuropathology

The neuropathology of AD is characterized by the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques (Aβ; abnormal aggregations of proteins and protein fragments that clump together in the brain) and hyperphosphorylated tau proteins, which form neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). The accumulation of Aβ plaques and of NFTs does not necessarily coincide. Whereas significant neurofibrillary changes are consistently associated with high densities of ...

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