Alzheimer's disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s memory, thinking ability, and other important mental functions. It is the most common cause of dementia in older adults. People often develop the condition around their mid-60s. With Alzheimer's disease, the brain cells degenerate and die. This causes a slow reduction in memory and mental function. Alzheimer's disease is currently listed as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It is estimated that about five million people in the United States have Alzheimer's disease.
Key statistics for Alzheimer’s disease
· It is estimated that worldwide about 44 million people have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.
· Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are the top cause for disabilities in later life.
· About 1 in 9 Americans over 65 has Alzheimer’s disease.
· One-third of Americans over age 85 are afflicted with the illness.
· 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
· Unless a cure is found, more than 16 million Americans will have the disease by 2050.
· Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in America.
· Women are more affected than men. About 2 in 3 people with Alzheimer’s are women.
· African American and Hispanic Americans are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than white Americans.
· 1 in 3 seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another kind of dementia.
· Typical life expectancy after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is 4 to 8 years.
The signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease may vary depending on the stage of the disease. People may have mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. The signs and symptoms of mild Alzheimer’s disease include wandering and getting lost, trouble handling money and paying bills, repeating questions, taking longer to complete normal daily tasks, losing things or misplacing them in odd places, personality and behavior changes. The signs and symptoms of moderate Alzheimer’s disease include increased memory loss and confusion, problems recognizing family and friends, inability to learn new things, difficulty carrying out multistep tasks such as getting dressed, problems coping with new situations, hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia, and impulsive behavior. The signs and symptoms of severe Alzheimer’s disease include inability to communicate, weight loss, seizures, skin infections, difficulty swallowing, groaning, moaning, or grunting, increased sleeping, and lack of control of bowel and bladder.