About Alzheimer disease

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Alzheimer disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the aging population. The prevalence of AD is around 1% at age 65 and 20% after 85 years.

The disease affects memory and mental functioning but can also lead to other problems such as confusion, changes of mood and disorientation in time and space.

At later stages this is accompanied by deterioration of language and spatial and motor abilities. Known risk factors for the development of AD include increasing age and genetic factors. Other possible factors may be female gender, low education, hypertension and head trauma.

There are not diagnostic markers for the disease. The clinical diagnosis of AD is currently based on a combination of investigations, including physical examination, neuropsychological assessment and evaluation of the patient's medical history. Also, at the present, there is no preventative or curative treatment available, although there are a number of drugs which can help alleviate certain symptoms. At the Karolinska Institutet, there is a very active research on AD. Several centres investigate this disorder from different perspectives, emphasizing the integration of basic neuroscience, clinical research, molecular genetics and epidemiology.