What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Dementia is a collective name for conditions in which progressive degeneration of the brain affects memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion.While the risk of developing dementia increases dramatically with age, most older people do not develop the condition. It is not an inevitable consequence of getting older. Just one in five people in their eighties, for example, are affected by it. Symptoms may include:

  • loss of memory
  • difficulty in finding the right words or understanding what people are saying
  • difficulty in performing previously routine tasks
  • personality and mood changes

Dementia is not a normal part of ageing. It knows no social, economic, ethnic or geographical boundaries. Although individuals experience dementia in their own way, eventually those affected are unable to care for themselves and need help with all aspects of daily life. There is currently no cure.

To comment, get information not available on this website, or to request a copy of our newsletter, booklets or posters, please email info@alzheimers.org.za.