Is Alzheimer's disease fatal?

Dr. David B. Reuben, MD
Geriatric Medicine Specialist

Alzheimer’s disease can be fatal, usually due to complications. When people with Alzheimer’s develop trouble walking or problems with balance, they can fall and have hip fractures. Sometimes these falls are fatal. Another major complication of Alzheimer's disease that can be fatal is recurrent pneumonia.

Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative disorder of the brain that affects primarily an older population. Most people diagnosed with Alzheimer's survive from three to eight years after diagnosis. Causes for death for patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's are typically related to complications such as dehydration, infections and malnutrition.

Dr. Gregory Petsko

Most people who have Alzheimer's disease will die of something else first, says neurologist Dr. Greg Petsko. Find out why by watching this video.

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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.