There are many facets to Alzheimer’s disease. The earliest and most recognizable sign of Alzheimer’s, memory loss, is also the classic (and often caricatured) symptom of this type of dementia.
In the early stages, the disease tends to attack the areas of the brain responsible for memory and thinking. As Alzheimer’s dementia becomes progressively worse, the result is significant functional impairment (e.g., inability to perform simple tasks or even maintain basic hygiene) and difficulty speaking or writing. Later, the person may become anxious or aggressive. At this more advanced stage of the illness, affected individuals are no longer able to take care of themselves or their homes. They require constant care. Providing this care often places a heavy financial and personal (e.g., stress, work, aggravation) burden on the affected person’s friends and family.
Unfortunately, Alzheimer's disease is a progressive and incurable neurological disorder. However, every year, researchers make significant progress toward explaining the causes of this devastating disease in order to treat it more effectively. There’s a lot more to Alzheimer’s disease than memory loss. To learn more, contact your health professional!