What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of dementia. Dementia is when a person experiences a loss of memory, language, or other cognitive abilities. With Alzheimer’s disease there is a progressive decline of cognitive abilities, where the symptoms gradually become worse, to the point of affecting the person’s ability to live independently. Many people with Alzheimer’s struggle with completing everyday tasks because of the severe memory loss. Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are treatment options. Treatment options include medications to slow the progression of dementia symptoms and caregivers to help improve Alzheimer’s patient’s quality of life. The first signs of Alzheimer’s Disease are forgetfulness and confusion. Eventually those symptoms will progress so severely the patient will forget how to preform daily tasks such as, bathing and eating, which will result in the need of full-time care.
The most common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss. At the beginning stages of the disease the patient may have trouble remembering recent conversations or current events. Everyone forgets things from time to time, however if it is a common occurrence, it might be cause for concern. Close family and friends may be able to recognize the symptoms worsening.
Age: Commonly, Alzheimer’s patients will start to experience symptoms at the age of 65 or older. Early-onset Alzheimer's is when a person 65 or younger has the disease. Roughly 6% of people with Alzheimer’s Disease develop symptoms at the age of 65 or younger.
Family History: Research has shown that a person with a history of Alzheimer’s disease in their family, is more likely to develop the disease. However, a person without a family history can still develop the disease. There are specific genes that can be inherited that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease, but just because you have one of the genes does not mean you will get Alzheimer’s.
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Half of the people living with Alzheimer’s disease do not know they have it.
Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
10% of people age 65 or older have Alzheimer’s disease.
Approximately 2/3 of people with Alzheimer’s disease are women.
There are over 16 million caregivers in the United States for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
Help and Support
To support research and those impacted by Alzheimer’s disease you can visit the Alzheimer's Association website, alz.org, to find ways to help and support.