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What are the chances that I will develop Alzheimer's disease as I age?

David A. Merrill, MD
Psychiatry
As you get older, there's about a 1% risk per year of developing Alzheimer's disease. Deficits in memory and cognition you experience can be confirmed in tests by neuropsychologists. Based on how old and well-educated you are, the cultural context of your test results will determine whether or not you actually have statistically significant deficits.

If you've noticed memory cognition changes, you may have testing deficits and may meet the category or criteria of a diagnosis for mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Here, your risk for Alzheimer's disease jumps from 1% for normal aging to 10% to 15% per year for MCI. This risk does not mean the definite progression of Alzheimer's. After about five years, roughly half of people with MCI go on to develop Alzheimer's disease; the other half, do not.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.