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Alzheimer's Disease Related Terms

- P -

  • Pacing

  • Aimless wandering, often triggered by an internal stimulus (e.g., pain, hunger, or boredom) or some distraction in the environment (e.g., noise, smell, temperature).

  • Paranoia

  • Suspicion of others that is not based on fact.

  • Parkinson’s Disease

  • A progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by the death of nerve cells in a specific area of the brain; the cause of nerve cell death is unknown. Parkinson patients lack the neurotransmitter dopamine and have such symptoms as tremors, speech impediments, movement difficulties, and often dementia later in the course of the disease.

  • Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)

  • One of the two major divisions of the nervous system. Nerves in the PNS connect the central nervous system with sensory organs, other organs, muscles, blood vessels, and glands.

  • Perseveration

  • Persistent repetition of an activity, word, phrase, or movement, such as tapping, wiping, and picking.

  • Personal Care

  • See activities of daily living.

  • PET Scan

  • See positron emission tomography scan.

  • Pharmacology

  • The study of drugs, including their composition, production, uses, and effects in the body.

  • Phosphorylation

  • The chemical addition of a phosphate group (phosphate and oxygen) to a protein or another compound.

  • Pick’s Disease

  • Type of dementia in which degeneration of nerve cells causes dramatic alterations in personality and social behavior but typically does not affect memory until later in the disease.

  • Pillaging

  • Taking things that belong to someone else. A person with dementia may think something belongs to her, even when it clearly does not.

  • Placebo

  • An inactive material in the same form as an active drug, for example, a sugar pill. See double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

  • Plaques And Tangles

  • See amyloid plaque and neurofibrillary tangle.

  • Positron Emission Tomography Scan (PET SCAN)

  • An imaging scan that measures the activity or functional level of the brain by measuring its use of glucose.

  • Presenilins

  • Proteins that may be linked to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Genes that code for presenilin 1 and presenilin 2 have been found on chromosomes 14 and 1, respectively, and are linked to early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Principal

  • The individual signing the power of attorney to authorize another individual to legally make decisions for him or her.

  • Prions

  • Protein segments that may cause infection that may lead to some forms of dementia.

  • Proteases

  • Enzymes that aid in the breakdown of proteins in the body.

  • Protein Metabolism

  • The breakdown of proteins into amino acids, a process essential to human growth and metabolism.

  • Psychosis

  • A general term for a state of mind in which thinking becomes irrational and/or disturbed. It refers primarily to delusions, hallucinations, and other severe thought disturbances.


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Alzheimer’s Disease Terms


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