What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer's is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of dementia. It is not a normal part of aging.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines dementia as “a loss of thinking, remembering, and reasoning skills that interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.” Other forms include frontotemporal degeneration, dementia with Lewy bodies, and vascular and mixed dementias. Though Alzheimer’s is our focus, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation funds research to prevent and treat each of these forms of dementia.
Signs & Symptoms
Alzheimer’s disease begins slowly from a clinical point of view. In its early stages, it often appears as short-term memory loss. As patients develop dementia and the disease progresses, cognitive and functional impairments become increasingly noticeable and severe. Other forms of dementia may present with different symptoms, such as personality changes, language difficulties, and loss of inhibition.