Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. Dementia is a group of symptoms associated with a decline in the way your brain functions, affecting your memory and the way you behave.
The exact cause for this is unknown. However, there are a number of things thought to increase the risk of developing the condition, including:
•a family history of the condition
•previous severe head injuries
•lifestyle factors and conditions associated with vascular disease
Signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition, which means that it will continue to get worse as it develops. Early symptoms include:
•minor memory problems
•difficulty saying the right words
These symptoms change as Alzheimer’s disease develops, and it may lead to:
There is no single test that can be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.
Treating Alzheimer’s disease
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, although medication is available that can slow down the development of the condition in some people.
Who is affected
Alzheimer's disease is most common in people over 65 years of age, and affects slightly more women than men.
The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that dementia affects around 650,000 people in England, with Alzheimer’s disease responsible for around 62% of dementia cases.
Dementia in people under 65 years of age, known as early-onset dementia, is less common. In the UK, around 2% of all dementia cases are early-onset dementia.
The risk increases with age, and people who are over 80 years of age are thought to have a one in six chance of developing the condition.