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Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's Disease is a type of dementia whose main symptom is the gradual and progressive development of memory impairment, which is defined as the inability to recall previously learned information or to learn new information.

In addition, at least one of the following disturbances is also required in order to make the diagnosis:

    Aphasia: an impairment in the ability to produce or comprehend language.

    Apraxia: an impairment in the ability to carry out purposeful movements or use common and familiar tools despite having the physical ability to do so. Extreme examples include not knowing how to brush one's teeth, use a pen, or make fine and precise movements with one's limbs.

    Agnosia: an impairment in the ability to recognize or identify objects despite intact sensory function.

    Executive function impairment: Difficulty with problem-solving, planning, organizing, sequencing, abstracting, social judgment, and motivation.

By definition, in Alzheimer's Disease all of these impairments begin gradually, persist and progress to more severe levels. They represent a clear decline from one's previous level of functioning and cause an impairment in one's ability to function as usual in social or occupational activities.

Furthermore, by definition, in Alzheimer's Disease the above symptoms are not caused by any other identifiable medical conditions, such as vascular dementia, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, brain tumors, subdural hematoma, normal-pressure hydrocephalus, HIV infection, neurosyphilis, hypothyroidism, deficiencies of Vitamin B12, folic acid, niacin or calcium, or any substance-induced conditions.

Early-onset Alzheimer's Disease is when the symptoms begin before age 65, and late-onset is when they begin after age 65.

 

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Overview

Diagnosis