Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Gen Xers, millennials, and boomers cite Alzheimer’s disease as an overriding concern for the years ahead. It is a tsunami that already affects over 6 million Americans. Many things change as we transition into middle age and older adulthood, including memory and other mental abilities. Large declines in memory and cognition are referred to as dementia, and the leading cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Although Alzheimer’s is largely an illness of old age, biochemical changes precede clinical symptoms by well over a decade. Featuring faculty from the Stanford Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, funded by the National Institute on Aging, this course provides an in-depth overview of cognitive changes over the normal lifespan and reviews evolving concepts of mild cognitive impairment and dementia. We will look at what Alzheimer’s disease is and is not, what parts of the brain are affected, and why the disorder sometimes runs in families. We will consider differences between normal cognitive aging and dementia, and we will compare and contrast Alzheimer’s disease with other disorders that cause dementia, such as Lewy body disease, frontotemporal dementia, and vascular dementia. We will address modern approaches to diagnosis and treatment, new therapies, and potential preventive strategies. The course will include a live demonstration of diseased brain specimens.

Victor Henderson
Professor of Epidemiology & Population Health and of Neurology & Neurological Sciences, Stanford; Skou Professor of Neurology (Honorary), Aarhus University, Denmark


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Online, instructor-led
Jan 30 - Mar 12, 2024
Stanford Continuing Studies