Alzheimer's disease (AD), also called Alzheimer diseasesenile dementia of the Alzheimer type (SDAT), primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer's type(PDDAT), or simply Alzheimer's, is the most common form of dementia. This incurable, degenerative, and terminal disease was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him. Most often, it is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer'scan occur much earlier. In 2006, there were 26.6 million sufferers worldwide. Alzheimer's is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050.

Although the course of Alzheimer's disease is unique for every individual, there are many common symptoms. The earliest observable symptoms are often mistakenly thought to be 'age-related' concerns, or manifestations of stress. In the early stages, the most commonly recognised symptom is inability to acquire new memories, such as difficulty in recalling recently observed facts. When AD is suspected, the diagnosis is usually confirmed with behavioural assessments and cognitive tests, often followed by a brain scan if available.

As the disease advances, symptoms include confusion, irritability and aggression, mood swings, language breakdown, long-term memory loss, and the general withdrawal of the sufferer as their senses decline. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Individual prognosis is difficult to assess, as the duration of the disease varies. AD develops for an indeterminate period of time before becoming fully apparent, and it can progress undiagnosed for years. The mean life expectancy following diagnosis is approximately seven years.Fewer than three percent of individuals live more than fourteen years after diagnosis. 

Articles About Alzheimer's Disease

Britain's Queen Elizabeth And Prince Philip At The 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony
Queen Elizabeth Battling With Alzheimer’s Disease, Monarch Can’t Remember Prince William & Kate Middleton Wedding – Reports [PHOTOS]

By IBTimes AU

Queen Elizabeth struggling to remember Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding as she battles with Alzheimer's disease. (Oct 14)


An elderly man takes part in a rally to commemorate International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
Dementia Affects Majority of New Zealanders; New Study Shows Australians 'More Afraid' of Disease

By IBTimes AU

About two-thirds of New Zealanders are affected by dementia, a degenerative mental illness that causes a person to be incapable of thinking clearly. A new study found Kiwis to be less afraid of the disease than their international counterparts. (Aug 25)


High Fat Diet in Pregnancy May Contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease in Children

By IBTimes IN

Maternal poor eating habits in pregnancy may place children at greater risk of Alzheimer's disease in adulthood, a new study says. (Mar 25)


Old people
Blood Test Detects Risk of Alzheimer's 3 Years before Disease Onset

By IBTimes IN

A new blood test can help identify people at greater risk of Alzheimer's disease, researchers say. (Mar 10)

brain scan
Brain Scans Effective in Detecting Alzheimer's Disease before Symptoms Appear

By IBTimes IN

Brain scans can help detect Alzheimer's disease in people who are at a higher risk of the disease, years before the actual symptoms start appearing, according to a new study. (Feb 15)


Exposure to DDT Can Contribute to Alzheimer's Disease

By IBTimes IN

Continuous exposure to commonly used insecticide, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, or DDT, may contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease, latest research shows. (Jan 28)


Eye Test Detects Alzheimer's Disease Early

By IBTimes IN

A simple eye test may help diagnose Alzheimer's disease early and track its progression, new research shows. (Nov 15, 2013)

High Blood Pressure in Middle Age Signals Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

By IBTimes IN

The sudden rise in a blood pressure during middle age may be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease, researchers reveal. (Nov 14, 2013)

Singing Helps Improve Brain Function of Alzheimer's Patients

By IBTimes IN

Music may help treat Alzheimer's disease. (Nov 12, 2013)

Extreme Stress in Middle Age Raises Risk of Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia

By IBTimes IN

Experiencing severe stress during middle age can increase a woman's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and dementia. (Oct 01, 2013)


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