Alzheimer's Disease FAQs

How is Alzheimer's disease diagnosed?

There is no single clinical test to identify Alzheimer's disease. Before diagnosis of the disease is made, other conditions must be excluded such as depression, adverse drug reactions, metabolic changes, nutritional deficiencies, head injuries and stroke.

Is there a cure for Alzheimer's disease?

Although no cure for Alzheimer's disease is available at present, good planning and medical and social management can ease the burdens on the patient and family.

Are there any medications or treatments to lessen the symptoms and effects of Alzheimer's disease?

Appropriate medication can lessen agitation, anxiety and unpredictable behavior, improve sleeping patterns, and treat depression. Physical exercise and social activity are important, as are proper nutrition and health maintenance. A calm and well-structured environment may help the afflicted person to maintain as much comfort and dignity as possible.

What is the life expectancy of a person afflicted with Alzheimer's disease?

The course of the disease usually runs from two to 10 years, but can take as long as 20 years. During the later stages of the disease, 24-hour care may be required with regard to daily activities such as eating, grooming and toileting.

What are the warning signs of Alzheimer's disease?

  • recent memory loss that affects job performance
  • difficulty performing familiar tasks
  • problems with language
  • disorientation of time and place
  • poor or weaker judgment
  • problems with abstract thinking
  • misplacing things
  • changes in mood and behavior
  • personality changes
  • loss of initiative
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