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Alzheimer's disease is a type of dementia. It causes memory loss and affects judgment, language, and behaviour. You may have trouble making decisions or may get lost in places that you used to know well. Alzheimer's disease is different than mild memory loss that occurs with aging. It is not clear what causes Alzheimer's disease, but it is the most common form of dementia in older adults.
Finding out that you have this disease is a shock. You may be afraid and worried about how the condition will change your life. Although there is no cure at this time, medicine in some cases may slow memory loss for a while. Other medicines may be able to help you sleep or cope with depression and behaviour changes.
Alzheimer's disease is different for everyone. It may take many years to develop. In some cases, people can function well for a long time. In the early stage of the disease, you can do things at home to make life easier and safer. You also can keep doing your hobbies and other activities. Many people find comfort in planning now for their future needs.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: May 28, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Myron F. Weiner MD - Psychiatry, Neurology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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