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How does Alzheimer's disease affect the body?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

In a healthy brain, messages are sent back and forth between neural cells (neurons) via connecting tissue cables (synapses). An overabundance of amyloid plaques (outside the neurons) and/or neurofibrillary tangles (inside the neurons) are the most common features of Alzheimer's disease. Comprised of different proteins, plaques and tangles impair healthy neuron function and cause nerve cells to eventually die off, damaging the brain's intricate web of communication. This damage continues to spread over time, causing overall shrinkage of the brain.

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.

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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.