Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting an estimated 850,000 people in the UK.
Dementia is a progressive neurological disease which affects multiple brain functions, including memory.
The exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is unknown, although a number of things are thought to increase your risk of developing the condition.
It's becoming increasingly understood that it's very common to have both changes of Alzheimer's and vascular dementia together (mixed dementia).
It affects multiple brain functions.
The first sign of Alzheimer's disease is usually minor memory problems. For example, this could beforgetting about recent conversations or events, and forgetting the names of places and objects.
As the condition develops, memory problems become more severe andfurther symptoms can develop, such as:
Many people feel that memory problems are simply a part of getting older.
However, a timely diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease can give youthe best chance to prepare and plan for the future, as well as receive any treatment or supportthat may help.
If you're worried about your memory or think you may have dementia, it's a good idea to see your GP. If you're worried about someone else, you should encourage them to make an appointment and perhaps suggest that you go along with them.
There's no single test that can be used to diagnose Alzheimer's disease. Your GP will ask questions about any problems you are experiencing and may do some tests to rule out other conditions.
If Alzheimer's disease is suspected, you may be referred to a specialist memory service to:
However, this can vary considerably from person to person. Some people with the condition will live longer than this, but others will not.
Alzheimer's disease is a life-limiting illness, although many people diagnosed with the condition will die from another cause.
As Alzheimers disease is a progressive neurological condition, it can cause problems with swallowing. This can lead to aspiration (food being inhaled into the lungs) which can cause frequent chest infections. It's also common for people with Alzheimers disease to eventually have difficulty eating and to have a reduced appetite.
There's increasing awareness that people with Alzheimers disease need palliative care . This includes support for families, as well as the person with Alzheimer's.
As the exact cause of Alzheimer's disease isn't clear, there's no known way to prevent the condition. However, there are things you can do that may reduce your risk or delay the onset of dementia, such as:
These measures have other health benefits, such as lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and improving your overall mental health.
Alzheimer's is a disease which causes patients to be affected by memory loss. Memory loss if a neurological disorder, which affects many functions of the brain as well as memory recollection.
The symptoms of Alzheimer's gradually worsen with the passage of time. At times, at the onset of the disease they can be mistaken for other ageing related conditions. Alzheimer's is treated according to the severity of the symptoms.
Alzheimer's disease is caused by parts of the brain shrinking (atrophy), which affects the structure and function of particular brain areas. The causes of this disease have as of yet not been elucidated.
It's best to see your GP if you're worried about your memory or think you may have dementia. A timely diagnosis gives you the best chance to adjust, prepare and plan for the future.
There's currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease, although medication is available that can temporarily reduce some symptoms or slow down the progression of the condition in some people.
As the exact cause of Alzheimer's disease is still unknown, there's no way to prevent the condition. However, there are steps you can take that may help to delay the onset of dementia.
Stan Lintern has had Alzheimer's disease for 10 years. He is cared for by his wife Denise, who helped to set up the Maidstone branch of the Alzheimer's Society.