Alzheimer’s disease (AD), also referred to simply as Alzheimer’s, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time. It is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia. The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events (short-term memory loss). As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language, disorientation (including easily getting lost), mood swings, loss of motivation, not managing self care, and behavioural issues. As a person’s condition declines, they often withdraw from family and society. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Although the speed of progression can vary, the typical life expectancy following diagnosis is three to nine years.
Very common (More than 3 million cases per year in US)
Diagnosis often requires lab test or imaging
No known cure, treatments available
Can last several years or be lifelongAlzheimer’s is associated with genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain cells over time. At the initial stage of the disease, forgetfulness and mild confusion is seen. Over time, recent memories also start erasing. Advanced stage symptoms vary from person to person. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Medication can temporarily reduce some symptoms or slow down the progression of the condition in some people.