Researchers have found that the symptoms of post cortical atrophy (PCA) are caused by changes in the brain cells that process visual information from our eyes.

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In PCA, it is not clear why the disease affects the visual region at the back of our brain rather than the areas affected by typical Alzheimer’s disease, like memory.

It is thought that what makes up a person’s risk of developing PCA is similar to other types of dementia. This is a complex mix of factors such as our age, lifestyle,  genetics and environment. We cannot change our age or genetics but there are things we can do to reduce our risk of developing dementia. Read more about how to reduce your risk of developing dementia.

Scientists are working hard to find out more, as well as exploring specific genetic or lifestyle risk factors for the PCA. You can find more about information about genes and dementia here.

What is posterior cortical atrophy?

Find out more about the symptoms and causes of posterior cortical atrophy, and the treatments currently available.


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This information was written in April 2021 and is due for review in April 2023. Please contact us if you would like a version with references.

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