Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that makes a person lose their cognitive abilities, altering daily functioning and leading to various levels of physical and emotional stress.
Here are 10 things you should know about Alzheimer’s disease, according to healthline.com:
1. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting approximately 40 million people worldwide, including five million Americans.
2. Alzheimer’s disease is twice as likely to affect women than men. The disease also progresses much more quickly in women.
3. Other health conditions can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
4. The higher the level of education you have, the lower your chance is of developing Alzheimer’s. You can reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease in old age by keeping your brain active: learn a new language, how to play a musical instrument or take educational classes.
5. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading causes of death in the elderly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 84,000 people died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2010.
6. There is currently no method to cure, slow down or prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
7. Alzheimer’s is expensive. In 2016, the cost of providing medical care for Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S. was a staggering $236 billion.
8. The disease was first discovered in 1906 by a German doctor, Alois Alzheimer. Dr. Alzheimer conducted a post-mortem of a patient who had presented memory loss and other cognitive problems and found parts of the patient’s brain had shrunk.
9. Alzheimer’s disease has been linked to a loss in sense of smell. This may also be one of the early symptoms of the disease.
10. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease will vary from one person to another, but older patients are expected to live for three to four years, and younger patients may live for 10 years.