Individuals and families affected by a loved-one’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia may find they have lots of questions – why is this happening, what can we expect, will it happen to me?
Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive brain disorder that results in memory loss, language deficiencies, and other cognitive impairments. It is the most common form of dementia that is affecting millions of people all over the world.
While there is no current cure for Alzheimer’s, there are many treatments, recommendations, and help centers to improve the quality of life of both patients and caregivers as they go through this challenging journey. Each of the links below will take you to a printable list of places families can turn for help.
Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease
The human brain changes over time, but the abnormal occurrence of plaques and tangles is a sign of dementia-related disorders. While scientists do not know the exact connection between these abnormalities and Alzheimer’s, they do understand that nerve cells are being blocked, causing memory loss and other cognitive disabilities (Alzheimer’s Association).
Alzheimer’s usually affects older victims, especially those over 60. The disease slowly progresses, affecting thought, memory and language in subtle then more apparent ways (Medline Plus).
More than 5 million Americans are currently affected by Alzheimer’s and are expected to reach 15 million by 2050. These numbers reach greater proportions internationally, with a current 26 million affected by the disease and a 106 million predicted by 2050 (Alzheimer’s Disease Research).
Women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than men because women tend to have longer life expectancies and hence are more vulnerable to aging-related diseases (Women’s HealthCare Forum).
Genetics is only one of the factors that contributes to Alzheimer’s. While researchers do not know what exactly causes Alzheimer’s, there has been scientific evidence linking four chromosomes to the disease: 1, 14, 18, and 21 (WebMD).