A very brief overview of Alzheimer’s Disease
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s Disease is a form of Dementia. The most common form of Dementia, in fact. Alzheimer’s is mostly known as a memory disease. But it is much more invasive than just jumbling or erasing one’s memories. It can affect all forms of cognitive abilities and physical abilities. There is no cure at this time. And is considered a terminal diagnosis.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. Meaning it gets worse over time as the damage to the brain increases. The brain actually shrinks in size over time and develops what are called plaques and tangles.
When can a person develop Alzheimer’s?
Most people with the disease are over the age of 65. But there are occasions of early onset Alzheimer’s with symptoms showing up as early as ages 40-50.
Age is the most common risk factor known to cause Alzheimer’s disease.
What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s?
Memory loss is the most common and usually the first symptom to be noticed, typically involving newly learned information. Other early symptoms include: confusion, disorientation, changes in mood and/or behavior, and being suspicious of others for no reason. As the disease progresses the symptoms can also include: difficulty swallowing, difficulty walking, and difficulty speaking.
People with the disease usually do not recognize or understand that they are having difficulty. This can cause obstacles in caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, causing frustration to both parties.
Dementia is NOT a normal part of aging.
For more information please visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.