What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that seriously affects a person’s ability to carry out daily activities.
Alzheimer’s starts slowly. First, it involves the parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language.
People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble remembering things that happened recently or names of people they know.
How is Alzheimer’s diagnosed?
- Thorough medical history
- Mental status testing
- Physical and neurological exam
- Tests, including brain imaging (This can be done in conjunction with Jefferson or with other facilities—your doctor can make a recommendation)
How does Alzheimer’s progress?
In Alzheimer’s, over time, symptoms get worse. You may notice:
- The Alzheimer’s patient may not recognize family members.
- They may have trouble speaking or writing.
- They may forget basic functions like how to brush their teeth or comb their hair.
- In the later stages of the disease, Alzheimer’s patients can become anxious or aggressive, or wander away from home.
Eventually, Alzheimer’s patients need total care. This can cause a lot of stress for family members. Usually, Alzheimer’s begins after age 60. The risk goes up with age, and is also higher if a family member has Alzheimer’s the disease.
No treatment can stop the disease. However, some drugs may help keep symptoms from getting worse for a limited time. Neurologists can evaluate Alzheimer’s patients and recommend the best treatment option.