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Disorders of the Developing and Aging Brain: Autism and Alzheimer's on the Web Archive Collection 2014
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Historical Note

This collection contains resources related to two diseases of the brain: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Alzheimer's Disease. ASD is diagnosed when the brain is in development, most frequently in childhood. Conversely, Alzheimer's Disease is an ailment of the organ's decline.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ASD is a disability that "can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges...people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged."

With the revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual to the DSM-V, ASD now includes several conditions that had previously been diagnosed separately: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome. As of April 2014, official CDC figures indicate that ASD is identified in 1 of every 68 children.

Alzheimer's Disease is an "irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with Alzheimer's, symptoms first appear after age 60" (National Library of Medicine). As of 2014, it is the most common cause of dementia among older people.

Named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, expects estimate that as many as 5.1 million Americans have the disease in 2014.