Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic progressive neuro-degenerative disorder characterised by three primary groups of symptoms. The first group (cognitive dysfunction) includes memory loss, language difficulties, and executive dysfunction (that is, loss of higher level planning and intellectual coordination skills). The second group comprises psychiatric symptoms and behavioural disturbances — for example, depression, hallucinations, delusions, agitation — collectively termed non-cognitive symptoms. The third group comprises difficulties with performing activities of daily living (deemed “instrumental” for more complex activities such as driving and shopping and “basic” for dressing and eating unaided).
Source: BMJ 2009;338:b15
Alzheimer’s (abbreviated as AD) is the most common cause of dementia, with an estimated 30 million sufferers worldwide at any one time. The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is unknown.
[…] case-control studies have linked several risk factors with the disease including age, family history, apolipoprotein (Apo) E4 status, head injury, depression, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation, presence of cerebral emboli, and low physical and cognitive activity.
Further information Alzheimer's Society, UK
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