Keeping everything running requires coordination as well as large amounts of fuel and oxygen.
Scientists believe Alzheimer's disease prevents parts of a cell's factory from running well. But just like a real factory, backups and breakdowns in one system cause problems in other areas.
CTV News Mobile Edition Keep up with the latest breaking news from on the go with our smartphone optimized mobile website.
Just go to CTVNews.ca/mobile using your mobile device's web browser.
The most common early symptom of Alzheimer's is difficulty remembering newly learned information because Alzheimer's changes typically begin in the part of the brain that affects learning.
As Alzheimer's advances through the brain it leads to increasingly severe symptoms, including disorientation, mood and behavior changes; deepening confusion about events, time and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers; more serious memory loss and behavior changes; and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking.
Most of us eventually notice some slowed thinking and occasional problems with remembering certain things.
However, serious memory loss, confusion and other major changes in the way our minds work may be a sign that brain cells are failing.
Two abnormal structures called plaques and tangles are prime suspects in damaging and killing nerve cells.Most experts believe they somehow play a critical role in blocking communication among nerve cells and disrupting processes that cells need to survive.It's the destruction and death of nerve cells that causes memory failure, personality changes, problems carrying out daily activities and other symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.CTV's all-news channel and Canada's #1 News program are now available live and on demand on CTV News GO.The app allows you to enjoy many of your favourite local and national CTV Newscasts on multiple devices, and a large library of on-demand video content.Early diagnosis and intervention methods are improving dramatically, and treatment options and sources of support can improve quality of life.Two helpful support resources you can tap into are ALZConnected, our messages boards and online social networking community, and Alzheimer's Navigator, a web tool that creates customized action plans, based on answers you provide through short, online surveys.If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or another dementia, you are not alone.The Alzheimer's Association is the trusted resource for reliable information, education, referral and support to millions of people affected by the disease.Anyone experiencing dementia-like symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible.If you need assistance finding a doctor with experience evaluating memory problems, your local Alzheimer's Association can help.