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Alzheimer's Disease and the Brain
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10. Under the microscope

Scientists can also see the terrible effects of Alzheimer's disease when they look at brain tissue under the microscope:

  • Alzheimer tissue has many fewer nerve cells and synapses than a healthy brain.
  • Plaques, abnormal clusters of protein fragments, build up between nerve cells.

Scientists are not absolutely sure what causes cell death and tissue loss in the Alzheimer brain, but plaques and tangles are prime suspects.

©2009 Alzheimer's Association. www.alz.org. All rights reserved. Illustrations by Stacy Janis.
This is an official publication of the Alzheimer’s Association but may be distributed by unaffiliated organizations and individuals. Such distribution does not constitute an endorsement of these parties or their activities by the Alzheimer’s Association.