By Sandra Deveny, MD
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. It is not a normal part of aging, although the greatest known risk factor is advanced age, with the majority of people with the disease over 65 years old. 5% have early onset Alzheimer’s, which can appear as early at 40-50 years old. Alzheimer’s worsens gradually over time and is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. The average lifespan is 8 years after onset of noticeable symptoms.
Alzheimer’s has no current cure, but treatments for symptoms are available to temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve the quality of life of the patient and caregivers. Research continues to find better ways treat, delay the onset, and prevent the disease from developing.
For much more information, go to the Alzheimer’s Association’s website by clicking here.