Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic brain disease that gradually erodes an individual’s memory, intellectual abilities and personality.
During the early stages, the most obvious symptom is an inability to learn and remember new information.
In advanced stages, the ability to think, speak or perform such basic tasks as getting dressed or eating is severely impaired. The time between diagnosis and death typically ranges from seven to 10 years.
Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Psychology
What You Can Do
Protect your brain as you age
Research suggests that life-long learning, exercise and other strategies can help.
Enhance your memory
Alzheimer's disease can leave people struggling with basic tasks. But some strategies can help you or a loved one compensate for mild memory loss.
Aging: When should I be concerned about a senior’s forgetfulness?
Adults dealing with aging parents face many challenges. Find answers to your frequently asked questions.
- Find a Psychologist
Testing for Alzheimer's
Because early intervention can help prevent damage, psychologists are searching for tests to detect Alzheimer's even before symptoms appear.
Related APA Publications
Most Alzheimer's patients not given diagnosis by their doctors
March 25, 2015, CNN
Early Alzheimer’s in parent exacts heavy toll on young adult children
January 28, 2015, The Washington Post
APA Offices and Programs
Office on Aging
The Office on Aging is a coordination point for APA activities pertaining to aging and geropsychology (the field within psychology devoted to older adult issues). The Office on Aging also supports the work of the APA Committee on Aging.