What is Alzheimer's Disease?

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a brain disorder that develops over a period of years and often starts with short-term memory impairment. Initially, people experience memory loss, and may eventually develop difficulties with decision-making, language processing and production, and recognizing family and friends. They may gradually develop behavior and personality changes. Many of these impairments and losses are related to the death of brain cells called neurons. AD is one type of disease in a group of disorders called dementias that are characterized by cognitive and behavioral problems. AD is by far the most common form of dementia, being the cause of approximately 75% of dementia cases either by itself or in combination with other disorders. The overall prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in the community is estimated at about 10% in population-based studies. Alzheimer’s disease becomes more prevalent with age, with most cases being diagnosed after the age of 65.

What is the Difference between CTE and Alzheimer's Disease?

Although there are some similarities between CTE and AD, significant differences exist.  The symptoms of CTE generally present earlier than the symptoms of AD.  The symptoms of CTE generally present in one’s 40s, while symptoms in most AD cases generally present in one’s 60s.  The first and most central symptoms in AD involve memory problems, while the first symptoms of CTE generally involve problems with judgment, reasoning, problem solving, impulse control, and aggression.  In addition, these diseases are found to be different in postmortem neuropathological findings. 

For more information about CTE, please click here