Alzheimer's disease is often known for the memory loss experienced by patients. It is a progressive disease that generally begins with an isolated, progressive amnesic syndrome, unknown to the patient. Gradually, language disorders (aphasia), writing disorders (dysgraphia), movement disorders (apraxia) and loss of the ability to recognise objects and faces (agnosia) set in.
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These symptoms may be accompanied by mood (anxiety, depression, irritability), behaviour and sleep disorders.

Is Alzheimer’s disease a real illness or simply the expression of cerebral ageing? In the vast majority of cases, Alzheimer’s disease begins with memory problems. Elderly people can also be affected by these problems, but the difference is clear: in normal ageing, it’s a case of benign forgetfulness, where memories have been stored in the brain but have difficulty being “recalled”: that’s what happens when you look up a name but find it again later.

In Alzheimer’s disease, memory problems are not only more severe, but they also worsen and become permanent. Memories are no longer stored in the brain, and neurons slowly and inexorably disappear. In normal brain ageing, there is no loss of neurons (or very little), and certain nerve connections may disappear, but the clinical repercussions are slight because the neurons have reserves and are capable of compensating for their deficiency.