Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative disorder that develops gradually and gets progressively worse over time. A subcategory of dementia, it accounts for 60 to 80% of these cases. There is no cure for Alzheimer's, though medication and some treatments can ease or slow symptoms and increase life expectancy in some individuals. Without treatment, people with the disease usually develop more severe symptoms more quickly. Early diagnosis of Alzheimer's can reduce symptoms and enables people to maintain their cognitive and physiological functions for as long as possible.
Memory problems are often the earliest symptom of Alzheimer's. Individuals may begin to forget events, often recent occurrences, which classifies the symptom as short-term memory loss. The person may ask the same questions or repeat statements over and over. Some people begin misplacing their possessions, leaving them in odd places. As this symptom progresses, remembering names may become more difficult.
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