Researchers have discovered
changes that take place in the brains of people who have
Alzheimer's disease. These brain changes may cause the memory loss and decline
in other mental abilities that occur with Alzheimer's disease. It's not fully
understood why these brain changes occur in some people but not in
Alzheimer's disease gets worse over time, but the
course of the disease varies from person to person. Some people may still be
able to function relatively well until late in the course of the disease.
Others may lose the ability to do everyday activities very early on.
- The disease tends to get worse gradually. It
usually starts with mild memory loss. It progresses to severe mental and
functional problems and eventual death.
- Symptoms sometimes are
described as occurring in early, middle, and late phases. It's hard to
predict how long each phase will last.
- The average amount of time a
person lives after developing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease is 8 to 10
A person with severe dementia becomes more vulnerable to other illnesses, such as pneumonia.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Myron F. Weiner, MD - Psychiatry, Neurology
October 29, 2012
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