Understanding Alzheimer's

The cause of Alzheimer's Disease is still unknown, though scientists learn more about the disease and treatment options every day.Alzheimer's is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.

Alzheimer's disease can have a tremendous emotional effect on both the patient and family. Processing the confusion and complex impact of the disease is often easier through shared knowledge, experience and supportive counseling.

Quick Facts

  • Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia among older adults.
  • Every 70 seconds, someone will develop Alzheimer's.
  • As many as 5.3 million Americans suffer from the disease. This number has doubled since 1980, and is expected to be as high as 13.4 million by 2050.
  • Alzheimer's and dementia triple healthcare costs for Americans age 65 and older.
  • $148 billion in annual costs
  • The disease usually begins after age 60 and risk goes up with age.
  • About 5% of men and women ages 65 to 74 have Alzheimer's.
  • Nearly half of people age 85 and older have Alzheimer's.
  • Alzheimer's is one of the top ten leading causes of death in the US, recently surpassing diabetes as the 6th leading cause.
  • There is no cure for Alzheimer's. But treating symptoms can improve quality of life for those suffering from the disease.
Source: CDC

Know the Warning Signs

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks
  • Confusion with time or place
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
  • Problems with words in speaking or writing
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
  • Decreased or poor judgment
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities
  • Changes in mood or personality
Source: CDC

Need More Info?

Where can I find more information about Alzheimer's disease?

The National Institutes of Health
http://www.health.nih.gov/

The National Library of Medicine
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/alzheimersdisease.html#cat11

The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/

Alzheimer's Association
http://www.alz.org/