Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Dementia is a disorder that affects how the brain functions. With any type of dementia, the brain loses its ability to remember facts and life experiences, think rationally, and even form words for speaking. Alzheimer’s disease causes these brain changes to happen very slowly over the course of time. Approximately five million people in the United States have Alzheimer’s disease. Usually, Alzheimer’s develops after age 60, though it can occur in younger people. It is not curable, but medications may help manage symptoms when the disease is diagnosed early.
Signs and Symptoms
Not all memory loss in older people is caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, some memory loss and general cognitive decline is expected as we age. Typical signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease may include:
• Trouble performing complex tasks that used to be easy to do, such as balancing the checkbook
• Difficulty remembering new information
• Getting lost while driving on familiar routes; forgetting the way home
• Change in personality
• Frequent nighttime waking
• Difficulty finding the right words for objects or emotional expression
• Changes in social behavior, becoming withdrawn
• Becoming more emotional than usual
Essential Information on Alzheimer’s
Learn how Alzheimer’s is caused, diagnosed, and treated. This includes advice on how to communicate with someone with Alzheimer’s. Download our FREE EBOOK for all the information you need in one spot!