What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia — brain diseases that cause memory loss and other intellectual disabilities.

Specifically, Alzheimer’s disease affects memory, the ability to think logically, emotions, and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly, follow a specific pattern, and get worse over time. Eventually, the symptoms become so severe that they interfere with the most basic tasks of daily life.

You can learn the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease here.


Alzheimer's disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of all dementia cases.
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Alzheimer's Disease Occurs More Often in Older People, but Is Not a Normal Part of Aging

Although most people with Alzheimer's disease are at least 65 years old, as many as 5 percent of people living with the disease have early-onset Alzheimer's (also known as younger-onset). This can appear in people in their 40s or 50s. In fact, the disease may start in early adulthood. Researchers are seeking ways to track brain changes and blood markers associated with Alzheimer’s disease that appear many years before symptoms develop.

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Alzheimer's Disease Is Progressive and Currently Has No Cure

The progression of Alzheimer's disease cannot currently be stopped once it has begun. Treatments have been found, however, that temporarily slow its effects and improve the quality of life for people living with the disease. James L. West is part of the worldwide effort to help find better ways to treat Alzheimer’s disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from occurring.

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