What is Alzheimer's?
Alzheimer's (AHLZ-high-merz) is a disease of the brain that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Alzheimer’s disease is not normal aging or a mental illness.
Is the most common form of dementia
Dementia is a general term for the loss of memory and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's accounts for an estimated 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.
Is more common than you think
More than 5 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer's. The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will grow each year as the proportion of the U.S. population that is over age 65 continues to increase.
With Alzheimer’s, it is not just those with the disease who are impacted. It’s also their caregivers. Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s is often very difficult, and many family or friend caregivers experience high levels of emotional stress and depression as a result.
Gets worse over time
Alzheimer's gets worse over time and ultimately is fatal. Although symptoms can vary widely, the first problem many people notice is forgetfulness severe enough to affect their ability to function at home or at work or to enjoy lifelong hobbies.
Other symptoms include confusion, getting lost in familiar places, misplacing things, and problems with speaking and writing.
Learn the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer's disease.
Next: Inside the Brain