Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Russell H. Swerdlow
  • Heather Anderson
  • Jeffrey M. Burns
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_290


A neurodegenerative disease of the brain characterized clinically by insidious, chronic, and progressive cognitive decline, and histologically by cerebral accumulations of the proteins beta amyloid (plaques) and tau (tangles).

Historical Background

In 1902, a woman called Auguste D. came under the care of Dr. Alois Alzheimer, then at the University of Frankfurt. The patient manifested changes in behavior and cognition. Her clinical course was characterized by progressive paranoia, delusional thinking, disorientation, and poor memory. She was institutionalized for the last 3 years of her life. Upon her death, Alzheimer analyzed her brain using a silver stain, and described both extracellular and intracellular protein accumulations. The extracellular protein accumulations were termed plaques and the intraneuronal protein accumulations were called tangles. Alzheimer presented the results of this autopsy in 1906. Several other similar cases of relatively “presenile” (i.e.,...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Amaducci, L. A., Rocca, W. A., & Schoenberg, B. S. (1986). Origin of the distinction between Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia: how history can clarify nosology. Neurology, 36, 1497–1499.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Blacker, D., & Tanzi, R. E. (1998). The genetics of Alzheimer disease: current status and future prospects. Archives of Neurology, 55, 294–296.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Blessed, G., Tomlinson, B., & Roth, M. (1968). The association between quantitative measures of dementia and of senile change in the cerebral grey matter of elderly subjects. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 114, 797–811.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Campion, D., Dumanchin, C., Hannequin, D., Dubois, B., Belliard, S., Puel, M., et al. (1999). Early-onset autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease: prevalence, genetic heterogeneity, and mutation spectrum. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 65, 664–670.Google Scholar
  5. Corder, E. H., Saunders, A. M., Strittmatter, W. J., Schmechel, D. E., Gaskell, P. C., Small, G. W., et al. (1993). Gene dose of apolipoprotein E type 4 allele and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in late onset families. Science, 261, 921–923.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. De Leon, M. J., & Klunk, W. (2005). Biomarkers for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Lancet Neurology, 5, 198–199.Google Scholar
  7. Evans, D. A., Funkenstein, H. H., Albert, M. S., Scherr, P. A., Cook, N. R., Chown, M. J., et al. (1989). Prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in a community population of older persons. Higher than previously reported. JAMA, 262, 2551–2556.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Gearing, M., Mirra, S. S., Hedreen, J. C., Sumi, S. M., Hansen, L. A., & Heyman, A. (1995). The Consortium to establish a registry for Alzheimer’s disease (CERAD). Part X. Neuropathology confirmation of the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology, 45, 461–466.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Gilman, S., Koller, M., Black, R. S., Jenkins, L., Griffith, S. G., Fox, N. C., et al. (2005). Clinical effects of Abeta immunization (AN1792) in patients with AD in an interrupted trial. Neurology, 64, 1553–1562.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Hardy, J., & Allsop, D. (1991). Amyloid deposition as the central event in the aetiology of Alzheimer’s disease. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 12, 383–388.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Hardy, J. A., & Higgins, G. A.(1992). Alzheimer’s disease: the amyloid cascade hypothesis. Science, 256, 184–185.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Katzman, R. (1976). The prevalence and malignancy of Alzheimer’s disease: a major killer. Archives of Neurology, 33, 217–218.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Khachaturian, Z. S. (1985). Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Archives of Neurology, 42, 1097–1106.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Klunk, W. E., Engler, H., Nordberg, A., Wang, Y., Blomqvist, G., Holt, D. P., et al. (2004). Imaging brain amyloid in Alzheimer’s disease with Pittsburgh Compound-B. Annals of Neurology, 55, 306–319.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Mayeux, R., Saunders, A. M., Shea, S., Mirra, S., Evans, D., Roses, A. D., et al. (1998). Utility of the apolipoprotein E genotype in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s Disease Centers Consortium on Apolipoprotein E and Alzheimer’s Disease. The New England Journal of Medicine, 338, 506–511.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. McKhann, G., Drachman, D., Folstein, M., Katzman, R., Price, D., & Stadlan, E. M. (1984). Clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease: report of the NINCDS-ADRDA Work Group under the auspices of Department of Health and Human Services Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease. Neurology, 34, 939–944.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Morris, J. C. (2006). Mild cognitive impairment is early-stage Alzheimer disease: time to revise diagnostic criteria. Archives of Neurology, 63, 15–16.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Mosconi, L., De Santi, S., Li, J., Tsui, W. H., Li, Y., Boppana, M., et al. (2007). Hippocampal hypometabolism predicts cognitive decline from normal aging. Neurobiol Aging. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2006.12.008.Google Scholar
  19. National Institute on Aging, and Reagan Institute Working Group on Diagnostic Criteria for the Neuropathological Assessment of Alzheimer’s Disease. (1997). Consensus recommendations for the postmortem diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiology of Aging, 18(4 Suppl.), S1–2.Google Scholar
  20. Petersen, R. C., Smith, G. E., Waring, S. C., Ivnik, R. J., Tangalos, E. G., & Kokmen, E. (1999). Mild cognitive impairment: clinical characterization and outcome. Archives of Neurology, 56, 303–308.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Petersen, R. C., Thomas, R. G., Grundman, M, Bennett, D., Doody, R., Ferris, S., et al. (2005) Vitamin E and donepezil for the treatment of mild cognitive impairment. The New England Journal of Medicine, 352, 2379–2388.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute of the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Institute on AgingWork Group. (1998). Consensus report of the work group on: molecular and biochemical markers of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiology of Aging, 19, 109–116.Google Scholar
  23. Sano, M., Ernesto, C., Thomas, R. G., Klauber, M. R., Schafer, K., Grundman, M., et al. (1997). A controlled trial of selegiline, alpha-tocopherol, or both as treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study. The New England Journal of Medicine, 336, 1216–1222.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Scheuner, D., Eckman, C., Jensen, M., Song, X., Citron, M., Suzuki, N., et al. (1996). Secreted amyloid beta-protein similar to that in the senile plaques of Alzheimer’s disease is increased in vivo by the presenilin 1 and 2 and APP mutations linked to familial Alzheimer’s disease. Nature Medicine, 2, 864–870.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Schneider, L. S., Tariot, P. N., Dagerman, K. S., Davis, S. M., Hsiao, J. K., et al. (2006). Effectiveness of atypical antipsychotic drugs in patients with Alzheimer's disease. The New England Journal of Medicine, 355, 1525–1538.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Snowdon, D. A., Kemper, S. J., Mortimer, J. A., Greiner, L. H., Wekstein, D. R., & Markesbery, W. R. (1996). Linguistic ability in early life and cognitive function and Alzheimer’s disease in late life. Findings from the Nun Study. JAMA, 275, 528–532.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Swerdlow, R. H. (2007). Is aging part of Alzheimer’s disease, or is Alzheimer’s disease part of aging? Neurobiology of Aging, 28, 1465–1480.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell H. Swerdlow
    • 1
  • Heather Anderson
    • 2
  • Jeffrey M. Burns
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Kansas School of MedicineLandon Center on Aging, MS 2012Kansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Kansas School of MedicineKansas CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Kansas School of MedicineKansas CityUSA