About Alzheimer's Disease
Normal Forgetfulness vs. Memory Impairment
As we age, the process of recalling information slows down. It is normal to experience forgetfulness such as not being able to recall an acquaintance's name or appointments, or not remembering what you wanted in the kitchen once you get there, only to remember it later.
Occasional memory problems may result from stress, distractions, grief, fatigue, poor vision or hearing, use of alcohol, an illness, or trying to remember too many details at once. Clinical depression also may cause poor concentration, sleep disturbance, or other symptoms that lead to forgetfulness in persons who do not have Alzheimer's disease.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is the loss of intellectual functions (such as thinking, remembering and reasoning) of sufficient severity as to interfere with a person's daily functioning. People with dementia experience short-term memory lapses and confusion that are more persistent, more severe, and more disabling than normal forgetting. These memory problems affect performance of everyday activities such as handling finances, doing household chores, and maintaining good hygiene habits.
What is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer's disease is the most common of the dementia disorders. It is a progressive, degenerative disease that attacks the brain and results in impaired memory, thinking and behavior.
Warning Signs of Alzheimer's Disease
It is important to seek a medical evaluation if you observe these warning signs in a loved one. A complete, comprehensive evaluation is necessary to determine the cause of dementia. Evaluations of this nature make it possible to identify treatable causes such as depression, malnutrition, infections, vitamin deficiency, and allow physicians to be 90% accurate in diagnosing Alzheimer's-type dementia. The only way to be 100% certain of an Alzheimer's diagnosis is to complete an autopsy.
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Mind and Brain Care
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