Alzheimer’s Disease, or AD, is often thought of when you hear of someone losing a large portion of their memory capabilities at an older age. Often misunderstood as simple memory loss due to aging, Alzheimer’s Disease generally effects older adults.
Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes damage and impairment to the part of the memory’s system involved in retrieving past events or occurrences, called “episodic memory.” This disease does not happen overnight. Instead, it rears its ugly head gradually with mild forgetfulness and memory loss. Over time, AD can cause extreme and severe memory loss, which can lead to patients forgetting everyday tasks like bathing or dressing, or forgetting memorable moments from their past.
In 2007, studies conducted by the Alzheimer’s Association estimated that some 5 million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and it is estimated that by the year 2040, there will be a growth to some 80 million cases.
Considering Alzheimer’s Disease is still under research, and therapy and medical treatments for AD are still being considered, it’s a good idea to know the signs and symptoms of the disease and to understand that the onset of it is gradual, not sudden. It can start as simple forgetfulness and turn into severe memory lapses over time.
If you or someone you love are experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease, it’s strongly encouraged that they seek medical evaluation and treatment to slow the onset of the disease. There are many neurological tests that can be performed to effectively diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease.