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Alzheimer's Disease Information
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What is Alzheimer’s disease?

AD is a physical disease which attacks the brain resulting in impaired memory, thinking, and behavior. When people have the disease, they forget how to do familiar things, they don’t recognize the people they love, they have difficulty understanding a conversation, and they may exhibit emotional unpredictability. For further reading, please click the links below (NOTE: All documents are in pdf format):

What Causes AD?

While scientists know Alzheimer’s disease involves progressive brain cell failure, they have not yet identified any single reason why cells fail. There are factors that can increase the risk of getting AD, they include:

Age. The greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s is increasing age. Most individuals with the illness are 65 and older.

Family history and genetics. While family history increases the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease by two to three times, genetics accounts for less than 5% of the diagnosis.

Head Injury. It’s important to protect your head by buckling your seat belt and wearing your helmet when participating in sports.

High blood pressure and cholesterol. There is strong evidence of a heart-head connection. Just as you eat well and exercise to keep your heart healthy, you should also do this to keep your brain healthy.

Is there a Cure?

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s and no way to stop the underlying death of brain cells. But drugs and non-drug treatments may help with both cognitive and behavioral symptoms. For current treatments, please see below:

Can I catch it?

No. You cannot get Alzheimer’s disease from being around a person who has the disease. It is not contagious like a cold.

What are the Stages and symptoms?

Early stage Alzheimer’s...

  • Problems coming up with the right word or name
  • Trouble remembering names when introduced to people
  • Difficulty performing tasks
  • Losing or misplacing a valuable object
  • Increasing trouble with planning or organizing

Mid stage Alzheimer’s...

  • Short term memory loss
  • Be unable to recall their own address or phone number
  • Become moody or withdrawn
  • Unable to do complex tasks, like balance a checkbook
  • Become confused about what day it is
  • Need help choosing proper clothing for the season or occasion
  • Still remember significant details about themselves and their family
  • Still require no assistance eating or using the toilet

Late-stage Alzheimer’s

  • Require assistance eating and using the toilet
  • Lose the ability to respond to the environment
  • Cannot carry on a conversation
  • Lose ability to control movement

 


 

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Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.