What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder characterized initially by memory loss and later by the loss of thinking, reasoning and behavioral abilities. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia accounting for 50 – 75% of approximately 44 million dementia cases worldwide in 2015.

There are both early-onset and late-onset forms of the disease, with the late-onset form of Alzheimer’s occurring in more than 90% of cases. The lifetime risk of getting Alzheimer’s is estimated at 10 – 12% and for those individuals who have a family member with late-onset dementia; the risk increases to 15 – 30%. The prevalence of dementia and, in particular, Alzheimer’s increases with age with an estimated 25 – 45% of persons over 85 years suffering from some form of dementia.

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