Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that impairs memory and eventually limits one’s ability to complete simple daily tasks. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are many ways to slow down symptoms through therapies, treating underlying conditions, cognitive exercises, and medications. Understanding and identifying Alzheimer’s early on is key to getting help. Here’s what you need to know:
- More than 6 million Americans over the age of 65 have dementia caused by Alzheimer’s.
- It is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States and the most common cause of dementia in older adults.
- Dementia is the loss of cognitive functions like memory, thinking, and reasoning and interferes with daily life.
- Changes in the brain can begin up to 10 years before Alzheimer’s is diagnosed.
- Memory problems that interfere with daily living are usually the first sign of impairment related to Alzheimer’s.
- Other symptoms include difficulty finding the right words, vision or spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment.
- There is no known cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Age-related changes in the brain like atrophy, inflammation, blood vessel damage, and mitochondrial dysfunction can harm neurons and affect other brain cells, ultimately contributing to Alzheimer’s.
- Many factors play a role in developing Alzheimer’s, like vascular conditions, nutrition, physical activity, social interaction, and mental stimulation.