What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that affects brain function, including memory, behavior, and reasoning. It’s a progressive disease that gets more severe over time. Depending on health conditions, survival can range from four to 20 years after symptoms arise. The effects of the disease range from mild memory loss in the early stages to the inability to care for oneself during the late stages of the disease.

What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s disease & dementia?

Dementia is not a disease itself, but a grouping of symptoms that impact brain functioning caused by various diseases and conditions. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of dementia cases.

Is there a cure?

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease yet. However, medications are available that may be able to slow the progression of the disease in some people for a period of time. Researchers are constantly working toward a cure.

What are common warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease?

  • Memory loss or confusion
  • Changes in behavior (wandering, agitation, hiding things, etc.)
  • Inability to follow instructions or perform routine tasks
  • Loss of personality
  • Loss of sense of time
  • Speech and communication difficulties
  • Inability to recognize common people or objects
  • Inability to perform purposeful motor movements

What are some tips for improving “brain fitness?”

As you age, it’s important to keep yourself active and engaged. Even a slight change in otherwise routine activities can make you think in a different way. Here are some ways to challenge your mind:

  • Brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand
  • Close your eyes while getting dressed or performing other tasks
  • Wear earplugs to experience the world without sound
  • Turn your pictures or clocks upside down
  • Start a new hobby
  • Learn a new musical instrument or something that is completely new to you