Changes in the Brain in Alzheimer’s Disease
Although we still don’t exactly know how the Alzheimer’s disease process begins, experts now believe that damage to the brain starts a decade or more before problems become evident. During the preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, people are free of symptoms but toxic changes are taking place in the brain. Abnormal deposits of proteins form amyloid plaques and tau tangles throughout the brain, and once-healthy neurons begin to work less efficiently. As a result of these accumulations of plaques and tangles, neurons lose their ability to function and communicate with each other, and eventually they die.