Whether you’ve been diagnosed with an early stage of Alzheimer’s, know someone with the condition, or simply want to learn more about Alzheimer disease, there are some particularly important details you should know.
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological brain disorder.
Alzheimer’s is a neurological condition that impacts a patient’s memory, cognition, and behavior. Risk factors associated with Alzheimer disease include age, family history, and high blood pressure. Age, however, remains the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer disease. Consult a health care professional to rule out other conditions and receive the correct diagnosis, no matter what it is.
Alzheimer’s disease has many symptoms.
With each of the seven clinical stages of Alzheimer’s comes certain symptoms. Initially, even older adults may not show signs of cognitive or functional difficulty, even if they’re dealing with other signs of aging. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, though, this cognitive and functional decline becomes increasingly apparent. A patient with Alzheimer’s disease may exhibit subjective cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), moderate cognitive decline or mild dementia, moderate dementia or moderately severe cognitive decline, and the eventual inability to live and function independently.
Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are often referred to interchangeably but are technically distinct conditions. Dementia refers more broadly to a group of symptoms including memory loss, cognitive deficits, and lack of emotional control, and is not a disease in a technical sense.However, it’s important to note that not every instance of Alzheimer’s disease presents with dementia symptoms.
Alzheimer’s disease has active researchers.
Currently, there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease or, by extension, for most forms of dementia. Current research includes improved diagnostic abilities, better care, and, ultimately, a genuine cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Already, scientists have made significant discoveries in the field, developing better treatment options and a greater understanding of Alzheimer’s disease as a whole. As earlier diagnoses allow patients and caregivers to make necessary preparations to care for these needs, improvements in care will make the lives of both groups a little easier while we await an eventual cure.
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Alzheimer’s disease is a common cause of death.
According to the CDC, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. The rate of deaths related to Alzheimer’s disease has increased in recent years, coinciding with longer lifespans. A majority of these deaths occur in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, with especially high rates in the Southeast, in the Midwest, and on the West Coast.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be terrifying, even for those who support the patient through this. In the meantime, Alzheimer’s disease remains a common cause of death and the most common form of dementia. If you suspect you or a loved one may be showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease, consult a health care professional to rule out other conditions and receive the correct diagnosis no matter what it is affecting your cognition and functioning Learn More