Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias

Dementia

Dementia is not a specific disease, but rather a general term for a gradual and progressive decline in mental and physical functions. Dementia can affect various areas of brain function, such as memory, language, problem solving and attention. Dementia is significantly more common among older people. However, it can affect adults of any age.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia.

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder that causes disorientation and behavioral changes, and obstructs memory, thinking, and judgment. Symptoms usually develop slowly and worsen over time. Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging.

In the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, memory loss is mild, but in its late-stage, individuals lose the ability to complete daily tasks, carry on a conversation, and respond to their environment. Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer's disease live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable. However, depending on age and other health conditions, survival can range from four to 20 years.

Other Types of Dementia

Other types of dementia include: