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Alzheimer's Disease

What is Alzheimer's Disease?

Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia—an illness of the brain that affects a person's ability to carry out daily activities. Memory, emotions, mood, behaviour and language are all affected, and because the disease is progressive, the symptoms worsen over time. There are many forms of dementia, but Alzheimer's disease is the most common among older people.

In the disease's early stages, people most often notice memory problems that can be severe enough to interfere with their ability to work or carry out everyday tasks. It's normal for people to forget some things as they get older—mild forgetfulness or the occasional difficulty in finding a word is not necessarily cause for alarm. But in Alzheimer's disease, the change is more dramatic. People tend to forget things that they used to remember, like names, words, and where they've put everyday objects. More importantly, this difficulty is persistent, progressive, and severe, and there is usually a noticeable, rapid decline in cognitive skills. If you become concerned about such changes in yourself or someone you care about, it's important not to delay and consult a physician as soon as possible.