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Alzheimer's Disease

Also called: AD

Summary

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia among older people. Dementia is a brain disorder that seriously affects a person's ability to carry out daily activities.

AD begins slowly. It first involves the parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language. People with AD may have trouble remembering things that happened recently or names of people they know. A related problem, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), causes more memory problems than normal for people of the same age. Many, but not all, people with MCI will develop AD.

In AD, over time, symptoms get worse. People may not recognize family members. They may have trouble speaking, reading or writing. They may forget how to brush their teeth or comb their hair. Later on, they may become anxious or aggressive, or wander away from home. Eventually, they need total care. This can cause great stress for family members who must care for them.

AD usually begins after age 60. The risk goes up as you get older. Your risk is also higher if a family member has had the disease.

No treatment can stop the disease. However, some drugs may help keep symptoms from getting worse for a limited time.

NIH: National Institute on Aging

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)

Symptoms

  • (Alzheimer's Association) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)
  • (Alzheimer's Association)

Treatments and Therapies

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (Alzheimer's Association)

Living With

  • Alzheimer's Caregivers: FreeFacebookCredits2012 Health Topic From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • (Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF
  • (Alzheimer's Association) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Alzheimer's Association)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) Also in

Related Issues

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)
  • (Alzheimer's Association)
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  • From the National Institutes of Health Easy-to-Read (National Institute on Aging) Also in

Specifics

  • (Alzheimer's Association)

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Easy-to-Read (National Institute on Aging)

Videos and Tutorials

Statistics and Research

  • (Alzheimer's Association)
  • Video (Alzheimer's Association)
  • (Alzheimer's Association)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • (Alzheimer's Association)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

Find an Expert

  • (American Academy of Neurology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

Patient Handouts

  • Alzheimer disease (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF
  • Mental status testing (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) - PDF
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