Alzheimer's Research

ImageThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently supporting the proposed actions of the Healthy Brain Initiative and the Healthy People 2020 Objectives to "educate and empower the nation" by developing and disseminating science-based and culturally relevant research that encourages awareness about cognitive impairment. This initiative will lead to increased detection of Alzheimer's Disease. Additionally,  "Dementias including Alzheimer's Disease" has been added to the Healthy People 2020 Objectives which is a set of national goals that aim to promote health and prevent disease. 

Hallmark Changes of Alzheimer's

Scientists have identified several hallmark Alzheimer's brain abnormalities, including:

  • Plagues, microscopic clumps of a protein fragment called beta-amyloid
  • Tangles, twisted microscopic strands of the protein tau (rhymes with "wow")
  • Loss of connections among brain cells responsible for memory, learning, and communication.  These connections , or synapses, transmit information from cell to cell
  • Inflammation, triggered by the body's immune system
  • Eventual death of brain cells and severe tissue shrinkage

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