What is Alzheimer's Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is one type of dementia that accounts for between 50 and 70% of all people with dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease can be viewed as a series of three stages - early (mild), middle (moderate) and late (severe) stage.
What are the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease?
- Memory loss
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Problems with language
- Disorientation to time and place
- Poor or decreased judgement
- Problems with keeping track of things
- Misplacing things
- Changes in mood or behaviour
- Changes in personality
- Loss of motivation
Who is likely to be at risk of Alzheimer's Disease?
- There are currently around 700,000 people in the UK with dementia
- Over 15,000 people with dementia are aged under 65 years
How is Alzheimer's Disease diagnosed?
There is no single test to determine whether someone has Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed by a process of elimination. Tests may include:
- Brain scans
- Tests of memory and mental agility
- Blood tests
What are the treatments for Alzheimer's Disease?
Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there are a number of options available that can improve the symptoms or slow down the progression of the disease in some people.
Scientific evidence confirms that drugs licensed for dementia may provide initial improvements and stabilisation of symptoms for the majority of people with Alzheimer’s disease. The drugs may help to improve memory, for example with remembering new information and recalling old information or at least slow memory loss.
Other benefits include improving alertness and motivation. Following treatment there may be some months before there is a noticeable improvement or slowing down of memory loss.
However, some people do report improved mood and the ability to carry out tasks which they had forgotten how to do, such as going shopping.