Malattia di Alzheimer

  • Stefano F. Cappa
  • Elisabetta Farina
  • Giuseppe Foderaro

Riassunto

La malattia di Alzheimer (Alzheimer Disease, AD) costituisce la più comune causa di demenza nella popolazione anziana a livello mondiale. È una malattia degenerativa del cervello, dovuta al progressivo depauperamento neuronale associato alla degenerazione neurofibrillare e alla formazione di placche senili [1]. In attesa dei nuovi criteri diagnostici, in corso di definizione, la diagnosi è ancora basata sui criteri clinici proposti nel 1984 [2], che richiedono la presenza di deficit di memoria episodica e di almeno un’altra funzione cognitiva, associati a una perdita di funzionalità nella vita quotidiana. Simili sono i criteri del DSM IV [3]. L’imponente mole di ricerca in questo campo che ha caratterizzato l’ultimo ventennio si è diretta in particolare verso la definizione di fasi precoci della malattia, attraverso lo sviluppo del concetto di deficit cognitivo lieve (Mild Cognitive Impairment, MCI) [4] e, recentemente, la proposta di criteri di ricerca per la diagnosi di Alzheimer incipiente [5]. Nella progressione della malattia, i deficit cognitivi si associano a disturbi psicologici e comportamentali, che costituiscono un importante determinante di disabilità e carico per i familiari [6].

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano F. Cappa
    • 1
  • Elisabetta Farina
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Foderaro
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Istituto Scientifico San RaffaeleUniversità “Vita-Salute” e Divisione di NeuroscienzeMilanoItalia
  2. 2.IRCCS Santa Maria Nascente, Neurologia Riabilitativa, Servizio per la Diagnosi e la Riabilitazione dei Disturbi Cognitivi AcquisitiFondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi OnlusMilanoItalia
  3. 3.Ambulatorio di Neuropsicologia Clinica al ParcoLugano, SvizzeraItalia
  4. 4.Servizio di Neuropsicologia Centro di Riabilitazione Extraospedaliera “Paolo VI”Casalnoceto, AlessandriaItalia

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