What is Alzheimer Disease?

Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for about 64% of all dementias.  It is a progressive and eventually fatal disorder that destroys brain cells.  People with Alzheimer disease have trouble remembering things, making decisions and performing everyday tasks.  There is no cure, but a large amount of research is being done around the world to try to find effective treatments and possibly even prevent the disease.

Alzheimer disease most often occurs in people over the age 65, and the risk of developing the disease increases with age.  When it occurs in a person under age 65, it is known as early-onset Alzheimer disease.  This is quite rare.

There are also rare genetic, or familial forms of Alzheimer disease.  In these cases, a genetic abnormality is inherited from mother or father who developed the disease at a young age.

By far the more common form of Alzheimer disease is the kind that people develop in old age.  This kind can be influenced but not fully dictated by genes.

For more information:

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, dementia:

Baycrest dementia:

Toronto Dementia Research Alliance:

Brain Canada:

Alzeimer Society of Toronto

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