What is Alzheimer disease?
Alzheimer disease is a disease that affects the brain. It is a common cause of dementia. Common symptoms include memory loss and impaired judgment. The symptoms of dementia progress over time. Most often people are older than 65 years old when they begin noticing symptoms of Alzheimer disease, but in some cases, the diagnosis comes earlier.
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Are there other names for Alzheimer Disease?
Alzheimer Disease is also referred to as Alzheimer dementia, Alzheimer sclerosis, Alzheimer syndrome, Alzheimer-type dementia, and presenile and senile dementia. Alzheimer Disease is often abbreviated to AD.
How common is Alzheimer disease?
Alzheimer disease is a rather common diagnosis. Alzheimer disease is the most common cause of dementia in North America and and Europe. About 5% of people over 70 years old have a diagnosis of Alzheimer disease. Around 2.4 million to 4.5 million people living in the U.S. have Alzheimer disease.
Are there any other diseases that look a lot like Alzheimer Disease?
There are many diagnoses to consider when a person presents with dementia. Frontotemporal dementia, Picks disease, Parkinson disease, diffuse Lewy body disease, Creutzfelft-Jakob, and CADASIL are important common differential diagnoses for people presenting with symptoms of dementia.
There can be other reasons for a person to have symptoms mirroring dementia too. These other causes include depression, drug abuse, thyroid disease, improper nutrition (B12 and thiamine vitamin deficiency specifically), slight build up of water build up in the brain (hydrocephalus) and disease of the central nervous system.