Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

09/09/2016 19:38

What is Alzheimer's disease?

Who gets it?

How do you know if it is occuring in someone you know?

What do you do when faced with Alzheimer's?


Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behaviour.  

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with daily life.


Quick info bits about Alzheimer's:

1.  Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia - it accounts for 60% - 80% of dementia cases*

2.  Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging - though associated with persons typically over the age of 65, up to 5% of persons with the disease have early onset Alzheimer's which can often appear when someone is in their 40s or 50s.

3.  Alzheimer's worsens over time - it is a progressive disease meaning that symptoms of dementia gradually worsen over a number of years.

4.  Alzheimer's has no current cure - however, do not despair, treatments are currently available and research towards a cure for the disease continues.



Some symptoms of Alzheimer's:

    The most common early symptom of Alzheimer's is difficulty remembering newly learned information, that is, while long-term memory seems unaffected, short-term memory is difficult to maintain.  This is because Alzheimer's disease typically begins in the part of the brain that affects learning.  However, it is important to note that much like the rest of our bodies, our brains also change with age and so occasional moments of slowed thinking and problems are not cause for panic.  Serious memory loss can be indicated by confusion and other major changes in the way our minds work, such as:

            -  disorientation

            -  mood and behaviour changes

            -  deepening confusion about events, time, and place

            -  unfounded suspicions about family, friends, and personal caregivers

            -  more memory loss

            -  difficulty speaking, swallowing, and walking

    People with possible signs of Alzheimer's may find it tough to recognize that they have a problem while signs may be more obvious to those around them, example family and friends.  Early diagnosis and early intervention methods are improving significantly, and treatment options and sources of support and information can improve quality of life drastically, therefore, seeing a doctor early is important for anyone experiencing dementia-like symptoms.


What to do if you suspect you, or a loved one, haas Alzheimer's or dementia.  

Go see your doctor.  

It may be helpful to gather your thoughts and make a list of the reasons why you suspect an occurence Alzheimer's or dementia before you go see the doctor.


Information taken from Alzheimer's Association:


PLEASE NOTE:  This blurb simply touches the surface on the information out there in honour of the World Health Organization's (WHO) World Health Day 2016 - Beat Diabetes.  This is in no way expected to be an exhaustive resource of information, rather is it one place where you may find items to pique your interest.  The SurgiMed Clinic has tried to provide you with authoritative and reliable resources that merely scratch the surface of this topic.  This in no way replaces a diagonis by a qualified medical practitioner.  

Last Updated: 18/11/2020