The most common type of dementia. A progressive disease beginning with mild memory loss possibly leading to loss of the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to the environment. Involves parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. The number of people living with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age
Loss of inhibitions Delusions, such as believing something has been stolen Many important skills are not lost until very late in the disease.
These include the ability to read, dance and sing, enjoy old music, engage in crafts and hobbies, tell stories, and reminisce. This is because information, skills and habits learned early in life are among the last abilities to be lost as the disease progresses; the part of the brain that stores this information tends to be affected later in the course of the disease.
Capitalizing on these abilities can foster successes and maintain quality of life even into the moderate phase of the disease. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic Causes Scientists believe that for most people, Alzheimer's disease is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that affect the brain over time.
Less than 5 percent of the time, Alzheimer's is caused by specific genetic changes that virtually guarantee a person will develop the disease. Although the causes of Alzheimer's aren't yet fully understood, its effect on the brain is clear.
Alzheimer's disease damages and kills brain cells. A The alzheimers disease affected by Alzheimer's disease has many fewer cells and many fewer connections among surviving cells than does a healthy brain. As more and more brain cells die, Alzheimer's leads to significant brain shrinkage.
When doctors examine Alzheimer's brain tissue under the microscope, they see two types of abnormalities that are considered hallmarks of the disease: These clumps of a protein called beta-amyloid may damage and destroy brain cells in several ways, including interfering with cell-to-cell communication.
Although the ultimate cause of brain-cell death in Alzheimer's isn't known, the collection of beta-amyloid on the outside of brain cells is a prime suspect. Brain cells depend on an internal support and transport system to carry nutrients and other essential materials throughout their long extensions.
This system requires the normal structure and functioning of a protein called tau. In Alzheimer's, threads of tau protein twist into abnormal tangles inside brain cells, leading to failure of the transport system. This failure is also strongly implicated in the decline and death of brain cells.
Risk factors Age Increasing age is the greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is not a part of normal aging, but your risk increases greatly after you reach age The rate of dementia doubles every decade after age People with rare genetic changes linked to early-onset Alzheimer's begin experiencing symptoms as early as their 30s.
Family history and genetics Your risk of developing Alzheimer's appears to be somewhat higher if a first-degree relative — your parent or sibling — has the disease.
Scientists have identified rare changes mutations in three genes that virtually guarantee a person who inherits them will develop Alzheimer's.
But these mutations account for less than 5 percent of Alzheimer's disease. Most genetic mechanisms of Alzheimer's among families remain largely unexplained.
The strongest risk gene researchers have found so far is apolipoprotein e4 APoE4though not everyone with this gene goes on to develop Alzheimer's disease.
Other risk genes have been identified but not conclusively confirmed. Down syndrome Many people with Down syndrome develop Alzheimer's disease.
Signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's tend to appear 10 to 20 years earlier in people with Down syndrome than they do for the general population. A gene contained in the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome significantly increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Sex Women seem to be more likely than are men to develop Alzheimer's disease, in part because they live longer.Alzheimer's and Dementia basics. Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life.
Alzheimer's disease (AD), also referred to simply as Alzheimer's, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time.
It is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia. The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events (short-term memory loss).As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language, disorientation.
Driving Directions. Whether you're visiting our outpatient clinic, or one of our other facilities, we can help you find your way. Access interactive maps, driving directions and more. Alzheimer's disease (AD), also referred to simply as Alzheimer's, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and worsens over time.
  It is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia. The stages don't always fall into neat boxes, and the symptoms might vary -- but they can be a guide and help you plan for your friend or relative's care.
Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life.
Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of dementia cases.