Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia or mental impairment due to aging. As many as 5.2 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer's and 10 million baby boomers will develop the disease in their lifetime, according to the Alzheimer's Association. This fatal brain disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
Alzheimer's is a complex disease and the cause is not yet clear. It destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social life.
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that occurs when nerve cells in the brain die and often results in the following:
- impaired memory, thinking, and behavior
- personality and behavior changes
- impaired judgment
- impaired communication
- inability to follow directions
- language deterioration
- impaired thought processes that involve visual and spatial awareness
- emotional apathy