Alzheimer's disease—A disease that causes large numbers of nerve cells in the brain to die. This makes it hard for a person to remember things, think clearly, and make good judgments. The symptoms begin slowly and get worse over time.
Mild cognitive impairment—Also called MCI. It causes people to have more memory problems than other people their age. The signs of MCI are not as severe as those of Alzheimer's disease. They include losing things often, forgetting to go to events and appointments, and having more trouble coming up with the right words than other people their age. MCI may be an early sign of Alzheimer's.
Vascular dementia—A medical condition caused by small strokes or changes in the brain's blood supply. Signs can appear suddenly. They include changes in memory, language, thinking skills, and mood.
Find Out More
The Department of Health and Human Services sponsors a website, www.alzheimers.gov, that links to information about memory loss and Alzheimer's disease, care, and services. It is a one-stop web portal directing you to information from the following organizations and others, which can give you information about memory loss, support groups and services, and publications on dementia and Alzheimer's. It can also provide information about research centers and clinical trials and studies.
- National Institute on Aging (NIA): Forgetfulness resources; www.nia.nih.gov/health/featured/memory-cognitive-health
- MedlinePlus: www.medlineplus.gov; in the Search box, type in "forgetfulness" or "memory" or "Alzheimer's"
- Eldercare Locator: Information on home care, adult day care, nursing homes, and more in your community. Phone: 1–800–677-1116; www.eldercare.gov
- Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center: Information on diagnosis, treatment, patient care, caregiver needs, long-term care, and research related to Alzheimer's disease. Phone: 1–800–438–4380; www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers