Alzheimer's Disease FAQs

Does Alzheimer's disease affect only the elderly?

While most Alzheimer's victims are more than 65 years old, it can strike men and women in their 40s and 50s.

How many people are afflicted with Alzheimer's disease?

It affects an estimated 4 million American adults. It is the most common form of dementing illness.

Can an Alzheimer's patient die of the disease?

More than 100,000 die of complications from Alzheimer's disease annually, making it the fourth-leading cause of death in adults, after heart disease, cancer and stroke.

Does the disease strike one gender more than the other?

The disease knows no social or economic boundaries and affects men and women almost equally.

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease?

Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease include a gradual memory loss, decline in ability to perform routine tasks, impairment of judgment, disorientation, personality change, difficulty in learning and loss of language skills.

Do all the symptoms appear at the same time?

No. There is a variation in the rate of change from person to person. The disease can eventually renders its victims totally incapable of caring for themselves.

What is the cause of Alzheimer's disease?

The cause of Alzheimer's disease is not known and is currently receiving intensive scientific investigation. Suspected causes include a genetic predisposition, a slow virus or other infectious agents, environmental toxins and immunologic changes. There are other factors under investigation.

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