How does Alzheimer's disease affect the body?
Zaldy S. Tan, MD
Geriatric Medicine

Alzheimer’s disease affects the body by impairing the parts of the brain that allow us to:

  • Form new memories
  • Reason
  • Orient ourselves

As the disease progresses, it spreads to parts of the brain that control walking, swallowing and coordination. In this way, though Alzheimer’s starts out as a problem with memory and thought, it eventually affects the function of the entire body.

UCLA Health

Alzheimer's disease affects the brain. The disease causes degeneration of brain tissue and nerve cells. With less nerve cells present, it becomes harder for the brain to communicate with the body and function properly. Specifically, the neurotransmitter (a chemical that passes among cells relaying messages) acetylcholine isn't produced at a high enough volume. This chemical is needed in order for your brain to learn, concentrate or remember information. With low levels of acetylcholine, those functions begin to decrease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.