Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
Related Diseases can include but are not limited to:
- ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Memory Disorders
- Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
- Frontotemporal Dementia
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory impairment and loss of intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60% to 80% of dementia cases.
The majority of people with Alzheimer's are 65 and older. But Alzheimer's is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer's (also known as younger-onset), which often appears in persons in their 40s or 50s.
Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer's, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
The most common early symptom of Alzheimer's is difficulty remembering newly learned information. Serious memory loss, confusion and other major changes in the way our minds work may be a sign that brain cells are failing.
The most common early symptom of Alzheimer's is difficulty remembering newly learned information because Alzheimer's changes typically begin in the part of the brain that affects learning. As Alzheimer's advances through the brain it leads to increasingly severe symptoms, including disorientation, mood and behavior changes; deepening confusion about events, time and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers; more serious memory loss and behavior changes; and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking.
Learn more at ALZ.org