Glossary

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: January 2023

Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's is a type of dementia. It causes memory, thinking, and behavioral issues. Symptoms usually develop around age 65. The symptoms of Alzheimer's get progressively worse over time.1,2

Assisted living

Assisted living is a type of care facility. These facilities provide 24-hour staff, meals, housekeeping, laundry, and transportation. Specific definitions and regulations related to assisted living vary from state to state. Residents choose which services they want. For example, they might request house cleaning, help with bathing, or meal and medicine reminders.1

Beta-amyloid plaques

Beta-amyloid plaques are a marker of Alzheimer’s disease. They happen when the beta-amyloid protein builds up around cells in the brain. This causes neuronal cell death and interferes with communication between parts of the brain.2

Clinical trials

Clinical trials are studies to determine whether specific treatments are safe and effective for people.1,2

Dementia

Dementia is not a specific disease. Instead, this broad term describes symptoms associated with memory or cognitive (thinking) issues severe enough to impact someone’s everyday life. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia.1,2

Early-onset Alzheimer’s

Early-onset is when Alzheimer’s affects someone before age 65. Early-onset Alzheimer’s is usually genetic (passed down in a family).1,2

Geriatrician

A geriatrician is a doctor who specializes in the care and health of older people.1

Hospice

Hospice is a program that offers support for dying people. It provides the care and environment for them to live as comfortably as possible in the time that they have left.1

Neurofibrillary tangles

Neurofibrillary tangles happen when a protein called tau accumulates in brain cells. These tangles cause cell death. They also interfere with communication in the pathways of the brain.2

Personal care

Personal care includes activities like grooming, bathing, and dressing. People with Alzheimer’s usually need help with these activities. This is especially true in later stages of the disease.1

Physician

A physician is a doctor. Physicians help you make medical decisions. They may give you tests to diagnose or monitor a disease.1

Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are doctors who focus on diagnosing and treating mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders.1

Psychologist

A psychologist can help to diagnose and treat emotional, cognitive (thinking), or behavioral problems. They often specialize in therapy and cognitive aspects of behavior.1

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