Family Members and Caregivers

About Alzheimer’s & Related Diseases

Rancho Los Amigos CADC

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurological illness that causes:

  • memory loss that worsens over time
  • a decline in mental abilities – such as problem-solving and comprehension
  • behavioral changes – such as mood swings and depression
  • decrease in ability to do usual activities

It is NOT a part of normal aging. Alzheimer’s is a major illness that causes the afflicted person to decline slowly over a long period of time.

People with Alzheimer’s can live with the disease from 6 to 20 years.

Can Alzheimer’s disease be cured?

At present, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Medications and other therapies are available to reduce symptoms—improving the patient’s functioning and quality of life.

What causes Alzheimer’s disease?

We now understand that Alzheimers disease is caused by the accumulation of proteins in the brain slowly over many years. These proteins interfere with communication between nerve cells and cause nerve cells in the brain to eventually die.

If it’s not Alzheimer’s disease, what could it be?

Not all memory disorders are Alzheimer’s disease.

Other causes of memory loss and dementia include:

  • vascular dementia
  • stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Lewy body disease
  • Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD)
  • metabolic abnormalities
  • infections
  • medications (prescribed & over the counter)

Some of the above causes of memory loss can be improved or cured.

Contact us today to request an evaluation appointment if you’re concerned about a loved one’s memory loss.


Rancho Los Amigos / USC
Rancho Los Amigos / USC