Alzheimer's Disease and Other Forms of Dementia
How Common Is Dementia?
Dementia caused by nervous system disease, especially Alzheimer's disease, is increasing in frequency more than most other types of dementia. Some researchers suspect that as many as half of all people over age 80 develop Alzheimer's disease. Also, the increased incidence of AIDS dementia complex, which results from HIV infection, helps account for the increased dementia in recent history, although with the invention of newer and better drugs to treat HIV, the occurrence of AIDS-associated dementia is declining.
Who Gets Dementia?
Dementia is considered a late-life disease because it tends to develop mostly in elderly people. About 5% to 8% of all people over age 65 have some form of dementia, and this number doubles every 5 years above that age. It is estimated that as many as half of people in their 80s suffer from dementia.
Which Dementias Are Treatable?
What Are Some of the Untreatable Causes of Dementia?
- Alzheimer's disease
- Multi-infarct dementia (dementia due to multiple small strokes)
- Dementias associated with Parkinson's disease and similar disorders
- AIDS dementia complex
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a quickly progressing and fatal disease that consists of dementia and muscle twitching and spasm