Alzheimer's Disease is a progressive brain disease that causes declines in memory and thinking skills. In late-stage Alzheimer’s disease, the person is unable to care for themselves and requires 24-hour care.
We all forget sometimes, but Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. It is not unusual for individuals to occasionally misplace their car keys or forget an acquaintance’s name. However, if such forgetting begins to affect your daily life, it is important to see your doctor. An early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is very important.
Symptoms of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type, usually appear in the person’s mid-sixties. Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, the much more rare type, occurs between a person’s thirties and mid-sixties. There are an estimated 5.7 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States, a number expected to rise to as much as 14 million by the year 2050.
Researchers are exploring the role of genetics and lifestyle factors in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease is understood to have a strong genetic component, but this is not true of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Lifestyle factors, how to delay or help symptoms, and the causes of Alzheimer’s disease are topics being heavily researched.