Alzheimer's Disease - Topic Overview
Your doctor will ask about your past health and do a physical
exam. He or she may ask you to do some simple things that test your memory and
other mental skills. Your doctor may also check how well you can do daily
The exam usually includes blood tests to look for another
cause of your problems. You may have tests such as
CT scans and
MRI scans, which look at your brain. By themselves,
these tests can't show for sure whether you have Alzheimer's.
There is no cure for
Alzheimer's disease. But there are medicines that may slow symptoms down for a while
and make the disease easier to live with. These medicines may not work for everyone or have a big
effect. But most experts think they are worth a try.
disease gets worse, you may get
depressed or angry and upset. The doctor may also
prescribe medicines to help with these problems.
If you are or will be taking care of a loved one with
Alzheimer's, start learning what you can expect. This can help you make the
most of the person's abilities as they change. And it can help you deal with
new problems as they arise.
Work with your loved one to make
decisions about the future before the disease gets worse. It's important to
living will and a
durable power of attorney.
Your loved one will need more and
more care as the disease gets worse. You may be able to give this care at home. Or
you may want to think about using assisted living or a nursing home.
Ask your doctor about
local resources such as support groups or other groups that can help as you
care for your loved one. You can also search the Internet for online support
groups. Help is available.