More than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain that results in impaired memory and thinking.
Ronald Zec, associate professor of neurology and psychiatry at SIU School of Medicine, says it usually starts with abnormal memory loss.
Zec, who also is with SIU’s Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, says the biggest risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease are age and family history. Most of the people who are diagnosed with the disease are over age 65, but it can occur in younger people.