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ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Brain atrophy. 3D MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) sagittal scan sequence of the brain of an elderly female patient with cerebral atrophy. The sequence shows significant atrophy in the brain's cortex. Brain atrophy involves a loss of neurons and the connections between them. Some degree of cerebral shrinkage occurs naturally in elderly people, but severe atrophy is a feature of certain conditions including Alzheimer's disease. In Alzheimer's disease formation of protein plaques in the brain causes atrophy which results in progressive cognitive and functional impairment.
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