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Living with Alzheimer's disease

A brief overview of Alzheimer's Disease

Surgery Door provides a section for people suffering from Alzheimer's disease to research and learn about their condition. The pages provide access to featured Alzheimer's disease specialists.

Alzheimer’s disease is the commonest type of dementia and is the name given when other types have been excluded. Dementia means a loss of intellectual abilities. It affects about 5% of people over 65 and 20% of those over 80. The commonest and earliest signs may be the loss of memory, particularly for recent events or messages.

People may dismiss this as just due to age, but they may also find it increasingly difficult to learn new skills, such as getting used to a new car or handling a new gadget in the home. They may give up activities they have always enjoyed. They may become uncharacteristically placid or disagreeable and may get up in the night thinking it is morning. Speech may become disjointed or repetitive and spatial skills such as finding things that have been put away may become difficult.

Eventually almost every brain function may be impaired, causing physical frailty and loss of bladder or bowel control. Although at first, the patient may be aware that something is going wrong, later on they are usually unconcerned or oblivious. 

We are indebted to the Alzheimer's Research Trust for providing the content for this section