Why is Alzheimer's disease called a progressive disease?

Progressive means that the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease usually start slowly and are mild, then get worse over time. The process of symptoms getting worse over time is called cognitive decline. In the late stages of the disease, a person who has Alzheimer's is no longer able to communicate and depends entirely on other people for care.

How long does a person usually live with Alzheimer's disease?

It's different for each person. Alzheimer's disease is the fifth leading cause of death for Americans older than 65 years of age and the sixth leading cause of death for all people in the United States. Most people live 4 to 8 years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Some live with the disease for up to 20 years.

What are the warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease?

The Alzheimer's Association has identified 10 warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (see the list below). It's important to remember that every person is different and may not have all or even most of these warning signs. Talk to your family doctor if you notice 1 or more of these signs in yourself or a loved one.