tangles are one of the two anatomical hallmarks that define
(AD). The other hallmark is amyloid
plaques. Technically, an individual may display all the
behavioral and cognitive symptoms of AD, but if the brain
does not contain the hallmark plaques and tangles, there is
no diagnosis of AD.
Normally, every brain cell or neuron contains
long fibers made of protein which act as scaffolds, holding
the neuron in its proper shape and also helping transport
of nutrients within the neuron. In AD, these fibers begin
to twist and tangle. The neuron loses its shape and also becomes
unable to transport nutrients properly; it eventually dies.
The fiber tangles remain in the brain long after the dead
neuron has been cleared away.
Article : "7-MINUTE
SCREEN TEST" by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain