Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive condition that damages areas of the brain involved in memory, intelligence, judgment, language, and behavior. It is the most common form of mental decline, or dementia, in older adults.

Alzheimer's disease always gets worse over time, but the course of the disease varies from person to person. While some people lose the ability to do daily activities very early on, others may still be able to function relatively well.

Over time, Alzheimer's disease causes severe mental and functional problems and eventually results in death. There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. However, much can be done, including medicines and behavioral modifications, to maintain the person's quality of life and to help the person stay active. Many people with Alzheimer's disease can be cared for at home.

Last Updated: November 10, 2008

Author: Monica Rhodes

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter J. Whitehouse, MD - Neurology

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