- Chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterised by a global, non-reversible impairment in cerebral functioning.
- Characterised by memory loss, loss of social and occupational functioning, diminished executive function, speech and motor deficits, personality change, plus behavioural and psychological disturbance.
- Deteriorating course over up to 8-10 years.
- Brain lesions are marked by neurofibrillary tangles, senile plaques, neuronal loss and brain atrophy, with defects in acetylcholine synthesis at the cellular level.
- Treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach with increasing emphasis on behavioural and psychological symptoms.
- Psychosocial interventions and carer support are key to managing disease course. Caregiver support groups are beneficial to caregivers and should be considered, where available.
Last updated: Feb 01, 2013