Answers From The Experts

My husband gets very aggressive and swears a great deal. What do I do?

Aggressive behavior is one of the most disturbing behaviors in someone who has Alzheimer’s disease. It can make homecare extremely difficult and is a common reason why a loved one may be placed in a nursing home. Fortunately, steps can be taken to help prevent and treat aggression in a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

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What is the difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

Dementia is not a specific disease; rather, it is a set of common symptoms that may be present in many different diseases. Alzheimer’s is one of these diseases and the most common one as it accounts for 50 to 80 percent of all dementia cases.

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How may I contact the Fisher Center other than through this website?

To contact us, our phone number is 1-800-259-4636, our email is info@alzinfo.org and our mailing address is FDR Station, PO Box 220, New York, NY 10150.

Is it safe to donate money online?

Yes, our online donation process is secured with SSL (Secure Socket Layers 128 bit encryption). This is the same security strength your bank uses online.

How do I find a good Elder Law Attorney in my area?

An elder law attorney is one that through education and legal practice experience has expertise in addressing the needs of the elderly in estate planning, benefit eligibility, and long term care planning. Visit the website of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, https://www.naela.org to get a list of NAELA attorneys in your area. To be a member of the Academy, an attorney must meet a rigorous set of ethical standards, training, and commitment to the needs of the elderly community.

Is there a place to go to find services in my area?

See our Resource Locator to find a doctor, facility, long-term care information, and more Alzheimer’s and dementia resources in your area by zip code. Listings include phone numbers and other needed contact information.  You can also contact your state or local department on aging to find out what government programs are available and how to qualify for them.  The website, http://www.benefits.gov  provides information on federal and state government programs that you, or the person you may be caring for, are eligible to receive. 

How do I find out more about existing clinical trials?

The National Institute of Health has a website where you can find the latest information on clinical trials, at www.ClinicalTrials.gov. The site allows you to search according to the specific condition and geographical location.

Does the disease get worse with time?

Unfortunately, yes.  Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that gets worse over time.  Below is a link to our website that explains these stages and what you can expect.  It was developed by Dr. Barry Reisberg, an internationally recognized expert in this field and director of our Educational and Resources Program at NYU School of Medicine.  It is used worldwide to measure the progression of the disease.

Clinical Stages of Alzheimer’s

Is Alzheimer’s hereditary?

Hereditary Alzheimer’s is rare– accounting for only about 5% of all Alzheimer’s cases. This is the familial form of the disease and if you have the gene for it, you will develop Alzheimer’s (usually relatively early).

You may also inherit a risk factor–Apoe-4 or Sorl 1. These genes can predispose someone to develop it, but like risk factors for cancer that run in the family, it doesn’t mean that a person will produce it. These risk factors are involved in the late-onset form of the disease (after age 65) and are in combination with other environmental and health factors that may dispose one person more than another to develop Alzheimer’s. At this stage, we still do not fully understand the complex interplay of all these factors.

What particular part of the brain does Alzheimer’s effect?

Alzheimer’s is first detected in the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for recent learning and more complex thoughts. From there the disease spreads out to the other sections of the brain as the disease continues to progress. Eventually, Alzheimer’s affects all aspects of everyday living and, in the end-stages, even the immune system is compromised. The person becomes susceptible to recurrent infections which quite often lead to the immediate cause of death.

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