Alzheimer’s disease

Alternative Names

Senile dementia – Alzheimer’s type (SDAT); SDAT

Definition of Alzheimer’s disease

is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. Alzheimer’s disease (AD), is one form of dementia that gradually gets worse over time. It affects memory, thinking, and behavior.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Age and family history are risk factors for AD.

Symptoms

Dementia symptoms include difficulty with many areas of mental function, including:

Signs and tests

AD can often be diagnosed through a history and physical exam by a skilled doctor or nurse. A health care provider will take a history, do a physical exam (including a neurological exam), and perform a mental status examination.

Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no cure for AD. The goals in treating AD are to:

Expectations (prognosis)

How quickly AD gets worse is different for each person. If AD develops quickly, it is more likely to worsen quickly.

Review

Daniel Kantor, MD, Medical Director of Neurologique, Ponte Vedra, FL and President of the Florida Society of Neurology (FSN). Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 10/4/2010

Alzheimer

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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