Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurologic disorder in which the brain shrinks (atrophy) and brain cells die. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia consisting of persistent declines in thinking, behavior, and social skills that preclude a person from functioning independently.
A total of 5.8 million Americans ages 65 and over suffer from Alzheimer's disease. The majority of them are 75 years or older. Out of the approximately 50 million people worldwide with dementia, between 60% and 70% are estimated to have Alzheimer's disease.
Memory loss and forgetfulness of recent events are early signs of the disease. With the onset of Alzheimer's disease, the person suffers severe memory impairment and is incapable of performing everyday tasks.
Medications may temporarily improve or slow the progression of symptoms. These treatments can sometimes help people with Alzheimer's disease maintain independence while maximizing their function. Alzheimer's disease sufferers and their caregivers can benefit from a variety of programs and services.
Alzheimer's disease cannot be cured or altered in any way. As the disease advances, severe complications can cause death, including dehydration, malnutrition, and infection.
Those who have diabetes mellitus suffer from a range of diseases that affect their bodies' use of blood sugar (glucose). Your muscles and tissues rely on glucose for energy because it's an important source of energy for cells. Additionally, it is the main fuel source for your brain.
Each type of diabetes has its own underlying cause. No matter what kind of diabetes you have, it can lead to excess sugar in the blood. Sugar build-up in your body can put you at risk of serious health problems.
Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes and gestational diabetes are reversible diabetes conditions. Prediabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Prediabetes often precedes diabetes unless appropriate measures are taken to prevent progression. When a woman is pregnant, she may develop gestational diabetes, which may resolve after giving birth.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV reduces your body's immunity, making it more susceptible to infection and disease.
HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The disease can also be spread through contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. Without medication, it may take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS.
There's no cure for HIV/AIDS, but medications can dramatically slow the progression of the disease. These drugs have reduced AIDS deaths in many developed nations.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms often appear gradually at first, starting with just a barely detectable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder is also associated with stiffness or slowness of movement.
Parkinson's disease may cause little or no facial expression in the early stages. When you walk, you may not be able to swing your arms. Speech may become slurred or soft, thus, the disease can worsen as your condition progresses over time.
It is impossible to cure Parkinson's disease, but medications have been proven to significantly reduce symptoms. Your physician may occasionally recommend surgery to improve your symptoms by regulating certain brain regions.
Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell, and extra mucus may be produced. As a result, you may experience breathing difficulties, coughing, wheezing when you breathe out, and shortness of breath.
For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
While asthma cannot be cured, its symptoms can be controlled. As asthma often changes over time, it's important to keep track of your signs and symptoms and adjust your treatment as needed.