A Brief Description

The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disorder named for Dr. Alois Alzheimer who first diagnosed it in 1906 after performing an autopsy on the brain of a woman who died of an unfamiliar mental illness.

Although the exact cause of the disorder is not known, the disorder damages and eventually destroys brain cells, leading to memory loss and changes in thinking and other brain functions. Alzheimer’s usually develops slowly and gradually gets worse as brain function declines and brain cells eventually wither and die.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s include:

• Difficulty remembering newly learned information

• Disorientation

• Mood and behavior changes

• Deepening confusion about events, time and place

• Unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers

• Serious memory loss and behavior changes

• Difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking

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