Minor lapses of memory are common and often increase with age but despite the fears of anyone who has been forgetful they are not necessarily a sign of Alzheimer's disease. The early stages of Alzheimer's disease remain a mystery and there is yet to be a cure as explained recently in The New York Times article "What Is Alzheimer's Disease?"
Alzheimer's is diagnosed by assessing memory loss that regularly impedes basic life functions. Beyond that, however, the current scientific knowledge about the disease is somewhat lacking. It is uncertain what causes the disease in the majority of cases.
A genetic marker that has been shown to increase the likelihood of Alzheimer's is only present in a minority of patients. Medications are available to treat Alzheimer's, but they only slow its rate of progress for a little while. There is currently no cure.
Everyone should take action now to get a health care power of attorney and a durable general power of attorney. Should you be unfortunate enough to get Alzheimer's a trusted person can have legal authority to handle your affairs.
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Reference: New York Times (April 30, 2016) "What Is Alzheimer's Disease?"