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What is Alzheimer's
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What is Alzheimer's

Introduction

Alzheimer's (AHLZ-high-merz) is a disease of the brain that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. It is not a normal part of aging.



Is the most common form of dementia

Dementia is a general term for the loss of memory and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.

Is more common than you think

It is estimated that more than 5 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer's. In 2050, the number of people in the United States with Alzheimer's could reach 11-16 million.

Because 70 percent of the people with Alzheimer's live at home, the disease impacts millions of family members, friends and caregivers.

Gets worse over time

Alzheimer's gets worse over time and ultimately is fatal. Although symptoms can vary widely, the first problem many people notice is forgetfulness severe enough to affect their ability to function at home or at work or to enjoy lifelong hobbies.

Other symptoms include confusion, getting lost in familiar places, misplacing things, and problems with speaking and writing.
Learn the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer's disease.

Latinos and Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease is a looming yet unrecognized crisis in the Latino community of the United States. A growing body of evidence indicates that vascular disease risk factors, such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol, may also be risk factors for Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias. Specifically, scientists are finding more evidence that could link Type 2 diabetes with Alzheimer's disease. All of these risk factors have high prevalence rates in the Latino community.

More information
Inside the Brain: An interactive tour

Inside the Brain:
An interactive tour