Brain Basics
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Alzheimer's Disease and the Brain
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Act 17

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10. Under the microscope

Scientists can also see the terrible effects of Alzheimer's disease when they look at brain tissue under the microscope:

  • Alzheimer's tissue has many fewer nerve cells and synapses than a healthy brain.
  • Plaques, abnormal clusters of protein fragments, build up between nerve cells.

Scientists are not absolutely sure what causes cell death and tissue loss in the Alzheimer's brain, but plaques and tangles are prime suspects.