Alzheimer's Disease

About Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, which causes a progressive loss of memory, cognitive, and social function. Alzheimer's is usually found in people 65 or older, but a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer's can develop in some people as young as their 30’s. Currently there is no way to reverse or stop the effects of the disease, and eventually people with Alzheimer's will need full-time care and support.

Alzheimer's About

It is still unclear what exactly causes Alzheimer's disease. Changes in the brain may begin years before symptoms appear as neurons die or lose connections while abnormal deposits of the proteins amyloid and tau build up in the brain. Certain genetic variations and a family history of Alzheimer's have been associated with increased risk, especially in people with early-onset Alzheimer's. For most people, however, genes alone do not appear to be the determining factor. Some lifestyle factors may help lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's, such as healthy diet, exercise, adequate sleep, social engagement, and mentally stimulating pursuits.

Some of the earliest signs of Alzheimer's tend to be problems with memory but as the disease spreads, other parts of the brain become affected. Eventually, people may experience personality and behavioral changes, fail to recognize loved ones, and lose the ability to perform basic tasks or care for themselves. Although there is currently no cure, early detection and intervention can be important in managing disease progression, improving quality of life, and planning for future care. Researchers are still working to find more therapeutic options for people with this debilitating disease.