ABOUT ALZHEIMERS DISEASE
ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE FACTS:
Alzheimer's disease affects 5.3 million people in the United States.
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia,
The disease was discovered by Alois Alzheimer. a German psychiatrist in 1908.
The disease is a neurodegenerative disorder of the brain.
Alzheimer's disease is always fatal, as of 2010 there remains no known cure.
The disease is progressive and affects thinking, memory, judgment, speech, reasoning ability, personality and behavior..
There are treatments available that can slow the progression of the disease in many patients. The treatments do not stop
or reverse the process, and do not work for everyone.
The course of the illness is variable and is always progressive. The disease may last from the diagnosis to end stages,
anywhere from 2-3 years upwards to 15 years.
The major risk factor for developing Alzheimer's is advancing age. The diagnosis is most most often in people over age 65.
The number of people affected increases with each decade of life. Individuals over 80 years old have as high as a 40-50%
chance of developing the disease. Early onset Alzheimer's is much less common, but can affect people in their 30's and 40's.
Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging.
The cause of Alzheimer's disease is unknown, although there are many theories, ranging from genetic to environmental.
Research continues exploring possible causes and cures.
The diagnosis can only be made with 100% accuracy with a brain biopsy (not reasonable or done medically) or on a brain
autopsy, examining brain tissue under a microscope, the same was Dr. Alzheimer did 100 years ago.
The diagnosis in modern medicine can be made with 80-90% accuracy by obtaining a thorough medical, neurological and
psychiatric history , and a physical exam, and psychiatric mental status exam. After this is done, laboratory testing (blood
work) and brain imaging CT scan or MRI of the brain are done.