Neuropathologist arranging slices of a human brain for gross pathology. By studying the shape and structure of a brain, most brain disorders can be diagnosed. For instance, Alzheimer’s disease causes shrinkage and the fissures appear to grow. A stroke causes localized brain tissue death, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease gives the brain a spongy appearance with evident holes. This type of pathology is carried out not only to try to find causes of death, but also in research into all brain disorders.