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What parts of the brain degenerate in Alzheimer's disease?

In Alzheimer's disease, typically the first part of the brain to degenerate is the hippocampus, the area of the brain that makes memories. Gradually, the cerebral cortex is affected also, causing problems with language, reasoning and behavior.

Dr. David A. Merrill, MD
Psychiatrist (Therapist)

In Alzheimer's disease, memory-important regions like the hippocampus degenerate. The hippocampus is the seahorse-shaped medial temporal lobe structure that’s deep in the brain. There are also brainstem nuclei that involve neurotransmitters, like acetylcholine, norepinephrine and serotonin, which start to disappear. As the brain starts to change or degenerate with the disease process, shrinkage begins, especially in memory areas like the medial temporal lobe.

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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.