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Alzheimer's Basics

Knowledge is power. Learn about the difference between Alzheimer's and dementia, the prevalence of Alzheimer's, and its possible causes and risk factors. While there's no guarantee that a person will not get Alzheimer's, understanding the disease is the best way to reduce your risk and cope with it effectively if it affects your family.
  1. Early-Onset Alzheimer's (7)
  2. Types of Dementia (24)

What Is Alzheimer's Disease?
Learn what Alzheimer's disease is, what its symptoms are, how it's diagnosed and treated, and how to cope with the effects of this most common form of dementia.

Statistics on Alzheimer's Disease: Who Gets It?
Wondering how many people Alzheimer's disease affects? Learn about the number of people with Alzheimer's disease, their caregivers and the financial costs of Alzheimer's.

Is Alzheimer's Disease Inherited?
Wondering if Alzheimer's disease is inherited? Learn how genetics affects your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Why Is Alzheimer's Called Type 3 Diabetes?
Have you ever wondered what the connection is between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease? Here's a summary of the some of the research behind Alzheimer's nickname of "Type 3 Diabetes," including a few of the effects on the brain and how insulin medications may help treat this type of dementia.

The Connection between Diabetes and Alzheimer's Disease
Does diabetes cause Alzheimer's disease to develop? Learn how the two diseases are related and what you can do to reduce your risk of developing dementia.

What Is the Hippocampus?
What is the hippocampus and how does Alzheimer's affect it? Learn how to prevent shrinkage of this area in your brain.

Women and Alzheimer's Disease
Did you know that Alzheimer's affects significantly more women than men? Learn how, and perhaps why, Alzheimer's targets women.

What Is Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease?
Have you heard people refer to late-onset and early-onset Alzheimer's disease? Learn what is meant by the term "late-onset" Alzheimer's.

What Is Cerebral (Brain) Atrophy?
Wondering what cerebral atrophy is? Here's what causes it, how it's related to dementia and how you can reduce your risk for it.

Age Related Macular Degeneration and Alzheimer's Disease
It's long been thought that there may be a link between Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) and Alzheimer's disease.

What is Alzheimer's?
What's the difference between Alzheimer's disease and dementia? Can other disorders mimic Alzheimer's? How many people have Alzheimer's, and how much does it cost families? Learn the basics about this complicated disease.

What Causes Alzheimer's Disease?
While scientists are still trying to determine what causes Alzheimer's, they have pinpointed several factors that increase a person's risk for developing the disease. Understanding how plaques and tangles, age, family history, and lifestyle affect risk can empower people to accept the factors they cannot change and make adjustments in the areas over which they do have control.

Diabetes and Alzheimer's Disease
Diabetes, a disease in which the body fails to produce or properly use insulin, and Alzheimer's disease, a neurodegenerative disease of the brain, are two of our most complex and widespread health problems. Interestingly, research is showing how diabetes and Alzheimer's disease may be related.

Alzheimer's Risk Factors
Are there Alzheimer's risk factors that influence who gets Alzheimer's disease and why? Research has revealed important Alzheimer's risk factors -- some preventable, others not -- that affect one's chances of developing the disease.

Myths and Realities of Alzheimer's Disease
About 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease today. Though scientists have learned much about the illness, many questions remain about the causes, progression, and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Myths only add to the fear of Alzheimer's. Get the truth about Alzheimer's disease here.

What's the Difference Between Alzheimer's and Normal Age-Related Memory Loss?
Is there a difference between Alzheimer's disease and normal age-related memory loss? While people do experience minor changes in their memory and thinking as they age, these changes don't affect daily functioning or the ability to live independently. Learn about the differences between normal age-related memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.

What Is Mild Cognitive Impairment?
Years ago, memory loss was considered to simply be an inevitable part of aging. Today, however, we know that memory loss once considered normal now may be an early sign of disease, or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Learn more about mild cognitive impairment and memory loss in aging adults.

Is Depression a Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease?
Depression and Alzheimer's disease share a complex relationship. Depression can include symptoms that look like Alzheimer's; depression and Alzheimer's disease can also occur simultaneously. Researchers are now looking at a third way that depression and Alzheimer's may be related: They want to know whether depression is a risk factor for the disease.

Prognosis for People With Alzheimer's Disease
Although there's no cure for Alzheimer's, there's often confusion about whether it's a fatal disease. Learn about the prognosis for someone who's been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Types of Dementia
Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia -– in fact, almost two-thirds of dementia cases are due to Alzheimer's disease. However, a host of other conditions can also cause dementia, including the 10 described here.

Reversible Conditions That Look Like Alzheimer's
If you think your loved one may have Alzheimer's, it's important to obtain an accurate diagnosis because the cause may be a reversible disorder. Learn about reversible medical conditions that can look like Alzheimer's, such as pseudodementia, thyroid problems, dehydration, malnutrition, infections, and medication problems.

Late-Stage Alzheimer's Disease -- An Overview
Late-stage Alzheimer's is a time of slowing down compared to earlier stages, when behavioral symptoms are more prominent. Still, it's important to know about late-stage symptoms and how to provide optimal care in regard to late-stage nutrition, bowel and bladder issues, immobility, infections and illnesses, and pain and comfort.

Inside the Brain: An Interactive Tour
Have you ever wondered how the brain works or how Alzheimer's disease affects different parts of the brain? The Alzheimer's Association developed this interactive tool to demonstrate brain mechanics and to show how brain functioning is challenged when affected by Alzheimer's.

Dementia: Hope Through Research
While Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, many other types of dementia create similar symptoms and challenges. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides a thorough review of the different dementias and how each kind affects the brain.

How important is age as an Alzheimer's risk factor?
The greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is increasing age. Most individuals with the disease are 65 or older, although individuals may develop familial, or early onset Alzheimer's, as early as their 30's and 40's. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer's doubles about every five years after age 65. After age 85, the risk may be as high as 50 percent.

What Does it Mean to be Senile?
Despite being a pejorative, confusing term, the word senile has a fairly straightforward meaning: the state of being aged. Because the words senile and senility connote infirmity, feeblemindedness, and even dementia, they are usually best avoided when describing an aging person.

Mitochondrial Cascade Hypothesis - Mitochondrial Cascade Hypothesis of...
Mitochondrial Cascade Hypothesis - Mitochondrial Cascade Hypothesis of Alzheimer's Disease

Oligomers in Alzheimer's Disease
What are oligomers and how are they important in possibly causing Alzheimer's disease?

Amyloid Cascade Hypothesis of Alzheimer's Disease
The amyloid cascade hypothesis is the leading theory for understanding what causes Alzheimer's disease. It proposes that excessive accumulation of the amyloid-beta peptide leads to a sequence of events that results in the death of brain cells and eventually Alzheimer's disease.

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