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
In AD, over time, symptoms get worse. People may not recognize
family members or 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
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
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