What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that causes increasing difficulty with memory and thinking. Alzheimer’s typically starts as memory loss and, with progression, can lead to impairments in orientation, ability to communicate effectively and ability to manage day to day activities.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for up to 80% of cases.
More people in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose Norton Neuroscience Institute to treat their neurological condition than any other provider. The experienced and innovative physicians at the Norton Neuroscience Institute Memory Center, led by its medical director, Gregory Cooper, M.D., Ph.D., are at the leading edge of new treatments that may slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. Appropriate cases are reviewed by a multidisciplinary team to deliver a precise diagnosis and a customized treatment plan with the best viewpoints of multiple specialists.
Multiple medications, often used in combination and tailored to each patient’s condition, can ease symptoms.
Physical therapy in select cases, occupational therapy, and speech and language pathology can help manage the disease. Support such as social services professionals and the Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center can provide significant help for the entire family.
Increasingly, evidence suggests physical, mental and social activities may reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease typically begins with mild forgetfulness. For example, an individual with early Alzheimer’s may have more difficulty recalling recent events or conversations, misplace items frequently and repeat themselves more often.
As the condition progresses, language and sense of place or orientation can become impaired. It may become more difficult to recall the exact date, or to navigate from place to place, at times getting lost more easily.
Language effects often begin with increased difficulty recalling names or words. While this can be a normal part of aging, with time an Alzheimer’s patient may have a tendency to use words incorrectly and have difficulty comprehending what others are saying. Additional symptoms include difficulty planning, organizing and managing affairs, notably including medications and finances.
What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?
No single cause of Alzheimer’s disease has been discovered. Several factors, however, have been identified as increasing your risk for the disease.
- Advanced age is a factor.
- Family history and genetics may play a role.
- High blood pressure and high cholesterol also may increase risk.
- Low education, diet and environment are suspected risk factors and the subject of research.