Researchers have discovered
changes that take place in the brains of people who have
Alzheimer's disease. These brain changes may cause the memory loss and decline
in other mental abilities that occur with Alzheimer's disease. It is not fully
understood why these brain changes occur in some people but not in
Alzheimer's disease always gets worse over time, but the
course of the disease varies from person to person. Some people may still be
able to function relatively well until late in the course of the disease.
Others may lose the ability to do everyday activities very early on.
The Oscar-nominated movie Away from Her portrays a long-married
couple struggling with Alzheimer's disease and the emotional toll it causes when
the wife, played by actress Julie Christie, gives her affection to another man
whom she meets in a nursing home.
This heart-wrenching and emotional dramatization of Alzheimer's brings home
the difficulties families face when a person's ability to recognize and
maintain relationships gradually declines -- especially when the relationship