About This Condition
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that occurs in the later years of life. People with Alzheimer's disease develop progressive loss of memory and gradually lose the ability to function and to take care of themselves.
The cause of this disorder is not known, although the problem appears to involve abnormal breakdown of acetylcholine (an important neurotransmitter in the brain). Some studies suggest it may be related to an accumulation of aluminum in the brain. Despite this suggestion, aluminum toxicity has been studied in humans, and it is quite distinct from Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, the importance of aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s disease remains an unresolved issue.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s include a pattern of forgetfulness, short attention span, difficulty in performing routine tasks, language problems, disorientation, poor judgment, problems with thinking, misplacing things, depression, irritability, paranoia, hostility, and lack of initiative.