Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is but two words. Words that cause fear, stigma and distance. It has an unidentifiable beginning and sometimes creates what is called, “the long good-bye.”
There are many descriptions for AD:
“…progressive mental deterioration that can occur in middle or old age, due to generalized degeneration of the brain. It is the most common cause of premature senility.” Internet answer to What is Alzheimer’s disease?
“AD is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes.” Alzheimer’s Foundation of America www.alzfdn.org
“AD is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. AD accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.” Alzheimer’s Association 800-272-3900 www.alz.org
Imagine a big open umbrella. The umbrella represents the main category, Dementia. Under the main category, there are many ribs, or dividers, for the different types of dementia. The biggest type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Some other types are Vascular, Lewy bodies (DLB), Mixed dementias, Frontotemporal, Parkinson’s (PDD), Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD), Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH), Huntington’s, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), etc. These different types of dementia make for a very full Dementia umbrella!
This umbrella visualization helped me to understand better, and I sure hope it helps you. There are so many resources available to us, to educate and support us in finding answers to What is Alzheimer’s disease?
I strongly encourage becoming a partner in your own health.