By Melissa Lampert, KHTS Staff Writer
Every 67 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. An estimated 5.1 million seniors age 65 and older are currently living with the disease, and another 200,000 Americans under age 65 have developed early onset Alzheimer’s. But what, exactly, is Alzheimer’s disease, and what does it mean for those who have it?
The Alzheimer’s Association defines Alzheimer’s as a progressive form of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms are usually slow to develop and gradually worsen over time.
Scientists have linked the presence of Alzheimer’s disease to microscopic changes in brain cells that prevent them from functioning properly, damaging the cells and eventually causing them to die. The result is irreversible changes in the brain: memory failure, personality changes, difficulty carrying out daily activities and other symptoms.
While no cure currently exists for Alzheimer’s, researchers have developed several treatments that have been shown to temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve the quality of life for those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Read Full Story: Understanding Alzheimer’s, Moving Forward After The Diagnosis