About Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease Opens new window, the most common cause of dementia, is a degenerative neurological disease that usually begins gradually, causing a person to forget recent events or familiar tasks. How rapidly the disease advances varies from person to person, but the death of nerve cells in the brain eventually causes confusion, personality and behavior changes and impaired judgment. Communication becomes difficult as the affected person struggles to find words, finish thoughts or follow directions. Most people with Alzheimer's eventually become unable to care for themselves.
While the cause of Alzheimer's is still unknown, extensive research is being conducted for advancement in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease as well as for care of those suffering from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
The Alzheimer's Association has devised a list of ten warning signs that may indicate Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia. If you, or someone you love, is exhibiting several of these symptoms, please contact a health care provider for a thorough examination.
- Frequent forgetfulness or unexplainable confusion.
- Difficulty performing familiar tasks, such as making a pot of coffee, or forgetting that familiar tasks have been performed.
- Struggling to remember simple words or substituting inappropriate words that make sentences difficult to understand.
- Disorientation to time and place or getting lost in familiar places.
- Poor or decreased judgment in making daily decisions, whether to wear a hat in the rain for example.
- Problems with abstract thinking or simple calculations, such as balancing a checkbook.
- Misplacing items or placing items in inappropriate places and not recalling how they got there. For example, finding the television remote in the freezer and not being able to recall how it got there.
- Rapid mood or behavior changes for no apparent reason. Behavior changes can cause the person to become aggressive or unusually withdrawn.
- Dramatic changes in personality, either suddenly or over a period of time.
- Sudden and lasting disinterest in hobbies, work or socializing.
The Irene Swindells Center for Adult Day Services is the only social-model adult day program in San Francisco designed to serve individuals with mild to moderate memory loss without additional significant health care needs. Our caring staff of trained professionals provides education and support for family caregivers, enhancing the quality of life for everyone touched by memory loss.
The Brain Health Center at California Pacific offers assessment and treatment for those suffering from mild memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer's. For an appointment, please call 415-600-5555.
For more information on Alzheimer's Disease:
Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org) Opens new window, a national network of chapters, committed to finding a cure for Alzheimer's and helping those affected by the disease.
The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center Opens new window provides information on this topic. The Center was mandated by Title IX of Public Law 99-660 and established in 1990 to collect, maintain, and disseminate information about Alzheimer's disease research and services. The Center serves health and social service professionals, Alzheimer's disease patients and their families, and the public. Information in the database includes references to fact sheets, textbook chapters, journal articles, brochures, teaching manuals, directories, audiovisuals, bibliographies, program descriptions, monographs, newsletters, and reports.
Family Caregiver's Alliance (www.caregiver.org) Opens new window, a San Francisco community-based nonprofit organization that address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home.
See also additional consumer health resources put together by California Pacific Medical Center's Health Science Library.