ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Alzheimer's disease. Computer artwork of the front view of the brain of a patient with Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease causes atrophy (wasting) of brain tissue, the wasting causes the surface of the brain to become spongy (as seen here). This leads to memory loss, confusion, lack of control and death. The incidence of the condition is high, up to a third of people over the age of 85 are affected. Physical features seen here include the widened dark fissures (sulci) between the folds of the brain, caused by shrinkage of the surrounding tissue. There is no cure, and death occurs after several years of decline.
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