What is the prognosis for Alzheimer's disease (AD)?

Very few people develop AD in their thirties or forties. This is known as "early onset" AD. These individuals have a mutation in one of three different inherited genes that causes the disease to begin at an earlier age. More than 90 percent of AD develops in people older than 65. This form of AD is called "late-onset" AD, and its development and pattern of brain damage is similar to that of early-onset AD. The course of this disease varies from one person to another, as does the rate of decline. In most people with AD, symptoms first appear after age 65.

We have not yet completely understood the causes of late-onset AD, but they probably include genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Although the risk of developing AD increases with age, symptoms of AD and dementia are not a part of normal aging. Some forms of dementia are not related to AD, but are caused by systemic abnormalities, such as metabolic syndrome, in which the combination of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes cause confusion and memory loss.

This answer is based on source  information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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