Alzheimer's disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Alzheimer's is a term used for memory loss and intellectual abilities which might be serious enough to interfere with daily life.
This disease usually affects those who come under the age group of 65 and above, although the greatest known factor behind Alzheimer's is the increasing age.
But it is not necessary that it should affect only the elderly sections but the signs and symptoms of the disease can be marked in someone who are in their 40's or 50's, this is called the younger onset.
Dementia symptoms gradually worsen over time, over a number of years. In the beginning stage, the memory loss is mild and not intense but as the age advances, individual lose the ability to carry on a conversation and to interact and respond to the environment.
Those with Alzheimer's live an average of eight years after the symptoms become noticeable.
The research for cure still continuing but treatments for symptoms are available. Such treatments can slow down the worsening of dementia and helps improve the quality of life. It should be treated right from the time of it's onset.
During the final stage of Alzheimer's disease, the patient becomes completely dependent upon caregivers.
The major symptoms:
1) Difficulty performing tasks and learning new information or routines.
2) Losing interest in things which the patient used to enjoy previously.
3) Changes in personality and loss of social skills.
4) Loss of memory that would result in misplacing items.
5) Change in sleep patterns, often waking up at night.
6) Delusions, depression, agitation.
7) Difficulty doing basic tasks, such as preparing meals, choosing proper clothing, and driving.
8) Difficulty reading or writing.
9) Forgetting details about current events.
Another such ultimate symptom would be complete loss of speech. It is a terminal illness, with the cause of death typically being an external factor, such as infection of decubitus ulcers (bed sores) or pneumonia, not the disease itself.
As said before, there is no particular cure for Alzheimer's disease till date but medications are available that can help improve some of the symptoms and thus lessens the development of the disease condition in some people.
Various other types of support are also available to help people with Alzhemer's to live as independently as possible, such as making changes to your home so it's easier to move around