During an average lifetime, one can expect to have at least occasional memory lapses from time to time. Usually it's something as simple as forgetting what you just did a few minutes ago, forgetting if you turned the stove off, or if you left your keys on the table or in the bathroom counter. Such lapses are relatively normal, but when they become a recurring theme, it's a more serious problem.
As people age, it is natural for them to experience a mild degree of memory loss. However, some cases can be much more severe, and can have a variety of causes. When loss of memory and other mental functions becomes more severe, the condition is known as dementia. Dementia is caused by a variety of disorders, but Alzheimer's dementia, or Alzheimer's Disease, accounts for many of the cases, particularly in elderly patients. Around age 65, a small percentage of people already are affected by Alzheimer's, and by the age of 85, over half of all people are affected (Hensrud 1).
Alzheimer's disease causes shrinking of brain tissue, as well as formation of amyloid...
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