Alzheimer’s is a neurological disorder that affects brain cells of a person. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a term for the loss of memory and other intellectual abilities severe enough to affect daily life. Alzheimer’s accounts for as many as 60 to 80% of all cases of dementia. Alzheimer’s is caused by the progressive death of brain cells. Over time the brain size of those with Alzheimer’s will shrink.

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease caused by the death of brain cells over time. Those with alzheimer’s will progressively experience worsening symptoms listed above. While the disease is most common in people over the age of 65, it is not a natural process of growing old. 1 in 8 people over 65 have the disease, and it occurs more in women than men. Major factors that weigh into the risk of getting alzheimer’s include genetics, and family history. Although it alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, the risk of contracting alzheimer’s increases as one gets older. While most cases occur in people over the age of 65, there is early onset alzheimer's that can begin as early as in the 30s.

There are multiple stages of Alzheimer’s: mild, moderate and severe. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s will change depending on the stage of alzheimer’s experienced in addition to the severity of memory loss. Mild alzheimer’s symptoms include loss of energy, mood swings, depression, experiencing trouble putting thoughts into words, and problems performing common tasks such as writing, and driving. For those suffering from moderate alzheimer’s, in addition to the symptoms experienced with mild alzheimer’s, they may also experience trouble sleeping, confusion about time and place, further speech problems, and delusions leading to lashing out at family or caregivers. Symptoms for severe alzheimer’s include problems with bodily functions such as problems with swallowing, and the loss of control of the bladder and bowels, the loss of ability to move on their own, and hallucinations.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s. Research is being done to understand how the disease affects memory loss in hopes to reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s and prevent the disease from starting.

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease leading to memory loss and other brain functions affecting a growing number of older people. We’ll go over the basics of alzheimer’s and some common treatments.

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