Dementia is significant loss of cognitive functions such as memory, judgment, attention, and abstract thinking. Alzheimer’s, the most common cause of dementia, is a progressive brain disease. It affects approximately five million Americans.
Other common causes of dementia include Lewy body dementia and frontotemporal dementia.
The Georgetown University Memory Disorders Program is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art clinical services for individuals affected by Alzheimer's disease and related disorders. Our doctors conduct research aimed at improving treatment options for Alzheimer's disease.
Age is the most important risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Most people who develop Alzheimer’s disease are 65 years old or older, and the risk increases with age. People age 85 years and older are especially at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease may include:
- Loss of concentration
- Language problems
- Confusion about time and place
- Impaired judgment
- Loss of insight
- Mood and behavior changes
- Apathy and depression
Drug treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
Drug therapy aims to slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s disease and treat cognitive and behavioral symptoms. Patients and their families need to discuss with their doctors whether drug therapy can help improve behavior or functional abilities, and whether or not drugs should be prescribed early or later in the course of the disease.