Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia among older people. It is estimated that as many as 5.3 million Americans may have this disease.* Dementia is a brain disorder that affects a person’s daily life and activities. The course of Alzheimer’s disease — which symptoms appear and how quickly changes occur — varies from person to person and includes: loss of thinking, remembering, and reasoning skills.
- What is dementia?
Dementia is a general term for decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is not a specific disease. Memory loss is one example.
- What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
- Know the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease
Memory loss is the most common sign of Alzheimer’s. Forgetting important dates or events or asking for the same information over and over are some examples. A person may experience one or more of these signs.
- How is Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed?
Alzheimer’s is diagnosed through a complete medical assessment by your doctor. It’s important to get a thorough exam if you have any of the signs and symptoms.
- Is treatment available?
Several medicines are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Treating the symptoms early on can provide you with comfort, dignity and independence for a longer period of time.
Because 60-70 percent of those with Alzheimer’s live at home,* its impact extends to millions of family members, friends and caregivers. Caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be challenging and lonely. If you or someone you know is caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or any illness, our Care for the Family Caregiver program can help.
*Alzheimer’s Association, 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures
Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter
Alzheimer’s Association, Long Island Chapter
National Institutes of Health (NIH)