Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of the dementing disorders currently affecting as many as 4 million Americans. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disease that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease include:
The rate of progression in Alzheimer's patients varies from case to case, ranging from 2 to 20 years. While a definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is possible only through the examination of brain tissue, which is usually done at autopsy, it is important for a person suffering from any symptoms of dementia to undergo a thorough clinical examination. In fact, after such an evaluation, approximately 20% of suspected Alzheimer's cases prove to be a medical condition other than Alzheimer's, sometimes treatable.
- a gradual memory loss
- decline in ability to perform routine tasks
- disorientation in time and space
- impairment of judgment
- personality change
- difficulty in learning
- loss of language and communication skills.