Alzheimer’s Disease: What You Need to Know as You Age

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June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and symptoms usually develop slowly and gradually worsen over time. This article from Johns Hopkins outlines the signs, symptoms and stages of the disease.

An estimated 5.2 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia in the world and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Today’s statistics are just the tip of the iceberg, however. By 2025, the number of people afflicted will top 7 million—a 40 percent jump—as baby boomers continue to age and people live longer overall.

Although the risk of AD increases with age, it is not a usual part of aging or something that should be expected in older people, says Constantine Lyketsos, M.D., director of the Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins. In fact, early onset Alzheimer’s can occur in people younger than 65, although it accounts for a small number of all cases. The rest are classified as late onset.

Alzheimer’s and many other dementias occur as a result of damage to neurons in the brain that affects their ability to communicate with each other. Over time, those neurons’ death and malfunction affects memory, learning, mood, behavior, and eventually physical functions, such as walking, and swallowing.

Please read this article to know more about the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, living with Alzheimer’s disease and the research that is being conducted.