Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of dementia. It usually affects people over the age of 65 and those with a family history of the condition. It affects memory, behavior, and thought processes. The condition can eventually become severe enough to interfere with daily life.
As of 2016, Alzheimer’s was the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, notes the National Institute on Aging. However, some researchers believe it may actually rank higher.
There’s no current cure for Alzheimer’s yet, but there are medications and treatments that can slow the progression and possibly improve quality of life. To date, the exact cause of Alzheimer’s is unknown. Scientists have found several factors that may contribute to a person developing the disease, though.
To help find a cure and more effective treatments for the disease, there’s ongoing research and clinical trials. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with the National Institutes of Health, created a plan to address the disease.
In addition to research and trials, there are a number of Alzheimer’s-focused organizations, initiatives, and resources you can turn to, from educational materials and new treatments to specialists, ways to create awareness, and community support. We’ve listed a few of these resources below.
If you have Alzheimer’s disease, are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, or you just want to be better informed about the disease and its symptoms, these nonprofit organizations can be a good place to start. They offer educational information as well as practical support for living with and managing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Alzheimer’s Association
- Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
- Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation
- Cure Alzheimer’s Fund
- Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation
- BrightFocus Foundation
Research is moving quickly right now in the area of Alzheimer’s. New therapies, medications, and information are being discovered almost daily. These resources are available to help you keep up with ongoing and new research into Alzheimer’s as well as dementia.
- Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy
- National Institute on Aging
- Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association
Being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s can be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. Many caregivers can feel isolated in their feelings and struggles — but they’re not alone. The resources below were created specifically for caregivers to help them find support and assistance.
When you’re dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, questions are sure to come up. Some of these questions, though, might be beyond those you’d ask your doctor. That’s when you need the community and support of others who have walked in your shoes.
These resources can connect you to others who have or are caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease. Some groups may be local to you so you can meet face to face. Others are online. Either way, talking to someone who really understands can be invaluable.
Advocacy and building awareness are key to creating urgency in Alzheimer’s research and policies. These groups keep Alzheimer’s in the spotlight for lawmakers, the public, and scientific and medical communities. You can learn more about the work each group does and how you can help through the links below.