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Memory Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease
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»What is Mild Cognitive Impairment?

What is Alzheimer's Disease?

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, irreversible disorder that attacks the brain and results in memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment and personality changes. It is the most common cause of severe intellectual impairment in older invididuals and a primary reason for the placement of the elderly in nursing homes. Over 400,000 Californians are affected by this illness. At present, it is not known what causes Alzheimer's disease or how to prevent or cure it. However, there is often much that can be done to reduce symptoms, improve functioning and aid the family in caring for the patient at home.

Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease may include:

  • gradual and progressive memory loss
  • difficulty in following directions and performing routine tasks
  • impaired judgment, reasoning, concentration, and orientation
  • confusion and restlessness
  • personality changes
  • loss of the ability to care for one's self
Not all memory problems are due to Alzheimer's disease. Since many of the other memory problems can be improved or even cured, it is important to seek an accurate diagnosis.

Source: The Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers of California

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