Welcome To The Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center

About Alzheimer's Disease

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.

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.

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

  • Recent memory loss - forgetting more often and not remembering later
  • Difficulty performing familiar or routine tasks - meal preparation, doing laundry
  • Problems with language - trouble finding the right word, forgetting simple words, substituting inappropriate words
  • Disorientation of time and place - getting lost in your own neighborhood, not knowing how to get home or to familiar places
  • Poor or decreased judgment - dressing inappropriately, layering clothing, disrobing in public, leaving stove burners on
  • Problems with abstract thinking - balancing a checkbook, coming up with a reasonable plan to an everyday problem like a toilet that is overflowing
  • Misplacing things - putting things in inappropriate places and cannot remember where to find common items.
  • Changes in mood or behavior - rapid mood swings for no apparent reason
  • Changes in personality - becoming confused, suspicious, fearful and may think family members are stealing things
  • Loss of initiative - becoming very passive and requiring cues and prompting to become involved

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.

Lee Memory Care, (Lee Memorial Health System)
(239) 334-5634

Mind and Brain Care
(239) 768-6500

Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida
(239) 939-7777

If you have a question about Alzheimer's or related memory impairments, complete please e-mail the Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center at info@alzheimersswfl.org or call (239) 437-3007.