The Brain in Alzheimer's Disease

In Alzheimer's disease, the brain is affected and starts to develop "plaques" and "tangles".

The first brain cells affected are in a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which controls the memory.


Nerve cells in the brain narrow and eventually disappear and are replaced by spots called "plaques".

These plaques contain amyloid proteins, which settle on nerve cells in the brain and prevent the cells from correctly communicating.


  • Tangles are abnormal filaments which invade healthy brain cells.
  • Neurofibrillary degeneration is when these filaments accumulate.
  • It thought that the filaments contain an abnormal protein, Tau, which leads to the breakdown and death of the brain cell.
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