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Alzheimer's Disease

Overview

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia among older people. Dementia is a brain disorder that seriously affects a person's ability to carry out daily activities.

AD begins slowly. It first involves the parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language. People with AD may have trouble remembering things that happened recently or names of people they know. Over time, symptoms get worse. People may not recognize family members or have trouble speaking, reading or writing. They may forget how to brush their teeth or comb their hair. Later on, they may become anxious or aggressive, or wander away from home. Eventually, they need total care. This can cause great stress for family members who must care for them.

AD usually begins after age 60. The risk goes up as you get older. Your risk is also higher if a family member has had the disease.

No treatment can stop the disease. However, some drugs may help keep symptoms from getting worse for a time.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center
A service of the National Institute on Aging, this website allows users to find current, comprehensive Alzheimer's disease information and resources from the U.S. Government's National Institute on Aging (NIA). It provides information on the diagnosis, causes, symptoms and treatment of Alzheimer's as well as provides support for family and professional caregivers, information about clinical trials and news regarding Alzheimer's. Some of the information on the site is available in Spanish.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America
This site covers basic information about Alzheimer's disease as well as about dementia, related illnesses, care of Alzheimer's patients, legal and financial planning and publications.

Local Resources

Alzheimer's Association Colorado Chapter
This site, a service of the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, provides information and support to people with Alzheimer's disease as well as their family members and caregivers. It offers access to support groups, a help line, a family resource center, educational programs, current news regarding Alzheimer's and the Fort Collins office.

Elder Care Network of Northern Colorado
Find information on this site about the issues and challenges of caring for the elderly, including health, finances, long-term care and funeral services. It also looks at the responsibilities and expectations of caregivers.

Search for a Healthcare Provider, HealthInfoSource.com
Search this site for a physician in greater Fort Collins who specializes in geriatric care, or treating the elderly. To find a mental health professional who can help families and caregivers find support, search for a provider under Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and narrow your search by choosing "Alzheimer's Disease" under "Life Issue."

Poudre River Public Library District
Search the library collection for books about Alzheimer's disease or dementia, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.

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