What it is

Alzheimer’s disease is an illness of the brain. It causes large numbers of nerve cells in the brain to die. This affects a person’s ability to remember things, think clearly, and use good judgment. Doctors don’t know what causes the disease. They do know that most of the time it begins after age 60.

What happens when a person has Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease often starts slowly. In fact, some people don’t know they have it. They blame their forgetfulness on old age. However, over time, their memory problems get more serious. People with Alzheimer’s disease have trouble doing everyday things like driving a car, cooking a meal, or paying bills. They may get lost easily and find even simple things confusing. Some people become worried, angry, or violent. As the illness gets worse, most people with Alzheimer’s disease need someone to take care of all their needs, including feeding and bathing. Some people with Alzheimer’s live at home with a caregiver. Other people with the disease live in a nursing home.

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