Glossary of Alzheimer's Disease Terms
Medications used to treat depression. Antidepressants are not addictive; they do not make you "high" or produce a craving for more.
Antibodies: Specialized proteins produced by the cells of the immune system that counteract specific foreign substances.
Anti-inflammatory drugs: Drugs that reduce inflammation or swelling.
Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension, fear, nervousness, or dread accompanied by restlessness or tension.
Apathy: Lack of interest, concern, or emotion.
Aphasia: Difficulty understanding the speech of others and/or expressing oneself verbally.
Art therapy: A form of therapy that allows people with dementia to express their feelings creatively through art.
Assessment: An evaluation, usually performed by a doctor, of a person's mental, emotional, and social capabilities.
Assisted living facility: A residential care setting that combines housing, support services, and health care for people in the early or middle stages of a disabling disease, such as Alzheimer's disease.
Associated disorders: Other medical or surgical conditions that are present at the same time which may or may not be contributing to the problem at hand.
Asymptomatic: When there are no symptoms or no clear sign that disease is present.
Atrophy: Shrinking in size; often used to describe the loss of brain tissue seen in Alzheimer's disease during an autopsy.
Autonomy: A person's ability to make independent choices.
Autopsy: The examination of a body's tissues and organs after death.
Behavioral neurologist: A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of behavioral and memory disorders that are due to brain disease.
Behavioral symptoms: In Alzheimer's disease, emotional symptoms, such as wandering, depression, anxiety, hostility, and sleep disturbances.
Beneficiary: An individual named in a will who is designated to receive all or part of an estate upon the death of the person who made the will.
Binswanger's disease: A type of dementia associated with stroke-related changes in the brain.
Biomarker: Used to indicate or measure a biological process; for example, levels of a specific protein in blood or spinal fluid. Detecting biomarkers specific to a disease can aid in the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of affected individuals, as well as people who may be at risk but who do not yet have symptoms.