So what is Alzheimer's Disease (AD)?
Alzheimer’s desease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with characteristic clinical and pathological features. Etiologically, it is heterogenous and can be produced by mutations of chromosomes 1, 14 and 21 as well as by as yet unrecognized causative factors. Clinical varations are comon including differences i rate of progression, pattern of neuropsychological deficits, and occurrence of non-cognitive beuropsychiatric symptoms. Pathologically, characteristic findings include neuronal loss, neurofibrillary tangles, neuritic laques, and amyloid angiopathy, but the severity of each of these differs considerably among individual patients.
AD must be distinguished from other dementing illnesses such as vascular dementia, fronto-temporal dementia, movement disorders with dementia, and many others. Clinical criteria must alllow for clinical variability in symptoms based on the patien’s intelligence, language and memory skills, social and cultural
ICD-10: Disorder with deterioration in both memory and thinking wich is sufficient to impair personal activities of daily living
DSM-IV: a syndrome characterized by defelopment of multiple cognitive deficits, including memory impairment and at least one of the following cognitive disturbances: Aphasia, apraxia, agnosia, or disturbannce in executive functioning.
Possible AD is diagnosed when
The patient has a dementia syndrome with no apparent cause but there are variations, in the onset, presentation, or clinical course compared with typical AD.
The patient has a second brain disorder or systemic illness sufficient to produce dementia but not considered to be the couse of dementia
The patient has a single gradually progresive deficit in the absence of any other identifiable cause