Alzheimer's Disease - Describe Your Experience

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What is Alzheimer's disease?

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a slowly progressive disease of the brain that is characterized by impairment of memory and eventually by disturbances in reasoning, planning, language, and perception. Many scientists believe that Alzheimer's disease results from an increase in the production or accumulation of a specific protein (beta-amyloid protein) in the brain that leads to nerve cell death.

The likelihood of having Alzheimer's disease increases substantially after the age of 70 and may affect around 50% of persons over the age of 85. Nonetheless, Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging and is not something that inevitably happens in later life. For example, many people live to over 100 years of age and never develop Alzheimer's disease.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: concerned, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 07

My father used to be a very talkative man. He is now 87 years old, and he forgets many things. He repeatedly asks to go home. He wants to plant his garden. My mother was taking care of him until recently when she was trying to get in the car and the door was stuck in the snow bank, and she told him to wait while she shut the door. He didn't wait and knocked her over, breaking her hip. He got out of the car and asked what she was doing on the ground. She told him she had asked him to wait until she shut the door; he yelled at her and said she was lying. He was taking junk mail to his banker thinking it was important papers, and meanwhile, he was throwing the important papers away. He was sending money to everybody that he got junk mail from. Most of the family is quite a distance from my dad and caring for him at home has become impossible for my mother. He doesn't remember from day to day what is going on, doesn't remember to eat, doesn't remember to do his personal cares. Tells everyone that he should still be able to drive but doesn't remember where he lived for 42 years. This is the most awful disease I have had to deal with. How frustrating for him it must be that you know you know something but can't remember it. He has now started to wander away from the assisted-living facility and is angry at everyone. He said his family is out to get him. I only hope the good Lord gives us all the strength to deal with this -- especially my father.

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Comment from: julie, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: January 14

My mother is 80 and she has Alzheimer's. In the last 3 years she has on occasion (4-5 times) just fallen unconscious. She stays that way for around 12 hours then wakes up as normal as she was before. Her doctor says this is not a stroke, she has no lasting damage and she has had x-rays to check for blockages, all in all nothing was found.

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