Alzheimer’s disease: Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and results in the loss of nerve cells in the brain that are important to memory and cognitive functioning. As the disease progresses, microscopic protein fragments known as plaques and tangles build up between nerve cells.
Amyloid: A protein found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. It builds up to form “plaques” or “tangles.”
ApoE: A gene that can mutate; the ApoE4 mutation is linked to a greater chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease. Other genes are likely involved.
Cerebellum: The region of the brain responsible for controlling balance and coordination.
Cognition: A collective term for the mental activities associated with thinking, learning, and memory.
Dementia: The loss, usually progressive, of cognitive and intellectual functions, most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
Dysphasia: Unable to find the correct word or a words’ meaning.
Frontal Lobe: The region of the brain responsible for aspects of speech, emotions, personality, planning, problem solving, and reasoning.
Hippocampus: The region of the brain responsible for emotion and short-term memory.
Mild Cognitive Impairment: A cognitive problem that is severe enough to be noticed by other people but not serious enough to have a negative effect on everyday life.
Mini-Mental State Examination: A mental status exam used to measure basic cognitive skills, including language, orientation, short- and long-term memory, and writing.
Occipital Lobe: The region of the brain responsible for sight and the ability to recognize people and things.
Parietal Lobes: The region of the brain responsible for processing sensory nerves, including pain, pressure, taste, temperature, and touch.
Tau: A protein found in nerve cell structure. Irregular tau can show up in the plaque “tangles” in an Alzheimer’s patient’s brain.