Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in older people. A dementia is a medical condition that disrupts the way the brain works.
AD affects the parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. Although the risk of getting the disease increases with age, it is not a normal part of aging. At present the cause of the disease is unknown and there is no cure.
AD is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German psychiatrist. In 1906, Dr. Alzheimer described changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. He found abnormal deposits (now called senile or neuritic plaques) and tangled bundles of nerve fibers (now called neurofibrillary tangles). These plaques and tangles in the brain have come to be characteristic brain changes due to AD.
What are the symptoms of Alzheimer's?
- initial mild forgetfulness
- confusion with names and simple mathematical problems
- confusion about time and place
- forgetfulness to do simple everyday tasks, i.e., brushing teeth; self-neglect
- problems speaking, understanding, reading, and writing
- behavioral and personality changes; aggressive, anxious, or aimless behavior
- lack of concentration
- sometimes saying or doing outrageous things
- mood can be depressed, anxious or agitated
- reasoning can be come slow and muddled
- some people may experience hallucinations or delusions