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Alzheimer's Disease Health Center

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Glossary of Alzheimer's Disease Terms


Incontinence: Loss of bladder or bowel control.

Late-onset Alzheimer's disease: Alzheimer’s that starts after age 65. It’s much more common than “early onset” of the disease.

Late stage: In this stage of the disease, people cannot take care of themselves and need a lot of help with everyday tasks.

Lewy body dementia: A type of dementia. It’s not the same as Alzheimer’s disease.

Living trust: A legal document in which someone (usually called the “grantor” or “trustor”) can appoint someone else as “trustee” (usually a person or financial institution) to invest and manage his or her assets.

Living will: A legal document that states your wishes about medical care at the end of your life. For instance, any situations in which you would want doctors to use life support machines.

Long-term care: Medical, personal, and social services that meet the physical, social, and emotional needs of people who are disabled or ill for a long time.

Mini-Mental State Examination: A standard mental status exam routinely used to measure a person's basic cognitive skills, such as short-term memory, long-term memory, orientation, writing, and language.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): It uses powerful magnets and radio waves to make pictures of organs and structures inside your body.

Music therapy: Therapy that uses music to improve physical, psychological, mental, and social abilities.

Neurologist: A doctor who is trained to diagnose and treat disorders of the nervous system.

Neuropsychologist: Someone who has an advanced degree (PhD or PsyD) in clinical psychology or a related field and who specializes in evaluating and managing brain problems.

Occupational therapists: Health care professionals that teach people how to do routine activities (such as getting dressed, walking up or down stairs, or cooking) after injury or illness using therapy and rehabilitation.

Onset: When a disease begins.

Pacing: Wandering or walking back and forth. Triggers can include things like pain, hunger, or boredom, or by some distraction, such as noise, smell, or temperature.

Paranoia: Suspicion and fear of someone else that is not based on fact.

Pillaging: Taking things that belong to someone else.

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