An Alzheimer's brain differs from that of a healthy brain with a significant reduction of neurons. The Alzheimer's brain will also show a reduced size due to the diminishing production of cells that transmit information. Cognitive abilities are severely compromised because of the physical changes within the brain of a patient with Alzheimer's disease.
In a normal adult brain, there are several billion cells connected to neurological response. With the progression of Alzheimer's however, many of these essential cells that deliver communication for various responses are annihilated. Logic, reasoning, and memory are some of the responses that are jeopardized by disease in an Alzheimer's brain. The Alzheimer's brain may also have a significant amount of plaque in the arterial walls as well.
Those with a healthy brain can perform everyday duties and tasks with relative ease. Communication patterns are clear and coherent. With the Alzheimer's brain, the patient will typically have difficulty with simple tasks and short-term memory. Confusion may set in to a large degree.
In the Alzheimer's brain, the patent's cortex may become severely damaged over time. This layer of cerebrum may become dried up and decayed. A healthy brain's cortex will be able to retain memory recollections and control motor function. Those suffering from Alzheimer's however, may have a cortex that has malfunctioned due to dying tissue.
Medical scientists who examine the brain affected by Alzheimer's through microscopic slides will often notice changes that differentiate it from that of a normal brain. Scientists may find substances such as high levels of aluminum in the brain of an Alzheimer's patient. Amino acids may be prevalent to a stronger degree as well.
Basically, the difference between a normal brain and an Alzheimer's brain is the way they each will ultimately function. With Alzheimer's, symptoms of confusion marked by memory loss, are only part of the big picture. In this form of frontotemporal dementia, the patient may eventually develop paranoia as well.
A normal brain can appreciate a logical explanation and reasoning of a situation. The person with Alzheimer's however, may wrongfully accuse someone of bad intentions, or not see the situation for what it truly is. It is not uncommon for people afflicted with Alzheimer's to become irrationally suspicious of others' intentions.
While a healthy brain is generally clear and free of lesions, the brain diseased by Alzheimer's may be inflamed. Deterioration due to cell corrosion is another factor seen in the Alzheimer's brain. These may manifest in the form of small or mini-strokes that can be detected through a computed tomography (CT) scan.