Alzheimer’s disease accounts for between 50 and 70 percent of all cases of dementia. Many researchers believe Alzheimer’s is caused by the accumulation of protein plaques in the brain. The plaques interfere with communication between brain cells and cause the cells to die, leading to memory loss, changes in judgment and other behavioral changes characteristic of Alzheimer’s.
Physical changes in the brain can cause other forms of dementia as well. Diagnosis may be complicated by coexisting conditions or when symptoms and pathologies of various dementias overlap.
Making an accurate diagnosis helps patients receive the treatment and support services appropriate for their condition and maintain the highest possible quality of life.