From the National Institute on Aging: 2013-2014 Alzheimer's Disease Progress Report: Insights and Challenge.
A summary of Alzheimer's disease research, infrastructure, and funding supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive, age-related brain disorder that affects as many as 5 million Americans age 65 and older, in addition to their families. It is the most common form of dementia, a broad term for diseases and conditions that damage brain cells and, over time, impair brain function.
Alzheimer’s causes once-healthy neurons—a type of brain cell—to lose their ability to function and communicate with each other. Eventually, the damaged cells die.
The NIA, one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of NIH, leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. NIA is the primary Federal agency supporting and conducting Alzheimer's disease research.