This week we’re profiling Alzheimer’s Association. Are they in your Givolio?
Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Other symptoms of Dementia are:
- Communication and language
- Ability to focus and pay attention
- Reasoning and judgment
- Visual perception
Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells. This damage interferes with the ability of brain cells to communicate with each other. When brain cells cannot communicate normally, thinking, behavior and feelings can be affected.
Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases of Dementia. In Alzheimer’s disease, high levels of certain proteins inside and outside brain cells make it hard for brain cells to stay healthy and to communicate with each other. The brain region called the hippocampus is the center of learning and memory in the brain, and the brain cells in this region are often the first to be damaged. That’s why memory loss is often one of the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
The majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Up to 5 percent of people with the disease have early onset Alzheimer’s (also known as younger-onset), which often appears when someone is in their 40s or 50s.