Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia, accounting for approximately 80 percent of dementia cases. But all dementia is not Alzheimer’s, says David Knopman, MD, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic. Dementia is a general term used to describe a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving, or language. Alzheimer’s is a physical disease that targets the brain, causing problems with memory, thinking, and behaviour. It is also age-related (symptoms usually start at age 65) and progressive as symptoms usually develop slowly and worsen over time. Research shows that plaques and tangles, two proteins that build up and block connections between nerve cells and eventually damage and kill nerve cells in the brain, cause the symptoms of the disease.
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