Summary

Facts about Alzheimer’s Many people have heard of Alzheimer’s disease, but unless it has directly impacted you or a loved one you may not have a solid grasp of what it actually entails. The National Institute on Aging defines Alzheimer’s disease as follows: “An irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.’ There are many facts associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It is important for people to understand these facts, as there are also many myths about what this disease does, how it is treated, and what it means to a person who is diagnosed. Here are five of the most important facts related to Alzheimer’s disease:

  1. Most people with Alzheimer’s disease typically face symptoms after the age of 65. While there are no exact numbers, the National Institute on Aging believes there could be approximately five million people in the United States, age 65 or older, with the disease.
  2. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, which is defined as the loss of cognitive functioning and behavioral abilities. The stages of dementia range from mild to severe.
  3. The disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, the first person to notice changes as the result of this ailment. Since first recognizing the disease in 1906, treatment options have greatly advanced.
  4. At this point, scientists are unsure of what causes Alzheimer’s disease. What is known is that the disease develops as the result of a series of brain related events, taking place over many years. It is widely believed that the causes include lifestyle and environmental factors, as well as genetics.
  5. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved four drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, including: Donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine, and Memantine.

Here are some additional facts and figures shared by the Alzheimer’s Association:

  • Every 67 seconds, a person in the US develops this disease.
  • Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the US.
  • Roughly 500,000 people die each year as the result of Alzheimer’s disease.

These statistics, facts, and figures go a long way in showing the seriousness of this disease. Fortunately, scientists and medical professionals continue to search for better treatment options, as well as a cure.