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Freebase Commons Common /common

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  • Alzheimer's Disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of function and death of nerve cells in several areas of the brain leading to loss of cognitive function such as memory and language.
  • Alzheimer's disease, also known as Alzheimer disease, is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. It was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906. Most often, AD is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer's can occur in much younger people. In 2006, there were 26.6 million people worldwide with AD. Alzheimer's is predicted to affect 1 in 85 individuals globally by 2050. Initial symptoms are often mistaken for 'age-related' concerns, or manifestations of stress. The most common early symptom is short term memory loss—difficulty in remembering recent events. The diagnosis is usually confirmed with tests that evaluate behaviour and thinking abilities, often followed by a brain scan if available, however, examination of brain tissue is required for a conclusive diagnosis. As the disease advances, symptoms can include confusion, irritability, aggression, mood swings, trouble with language, and long-term memory loss. As the person's condition declines they often withdraw from family and society.

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