Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disorder that damages and eventually destroys brain cells, leading to memory loss and changes in thinking and other brain functions. It usually develops slowly and gradually gets worse as brain function declines and brain cells eventually wither and die. Ultimately, Alzheimer's is fatal, and currently, there is no cure.
But neuroscience research efforts are under way to develop effective treatments and ways to prevent the disease. Researchers are also working to develop better ways to care for affected people and better ways to support their families, friends and caregivers. The Alzheimer's Association is moving these research efforts forward by funding scientists who are searching for more answers and new treatments, collaborating with stakeholders, fostering worldwide partnerships among scientists, and raising the visibility of Alzheimer's as a global health challenge.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, a general term used to describe various diseases and conditions that damage brain cells. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Other types include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies andfrontotemporal dementia. In some cases, a person may have more than one type and are said to have mixed dementia.