As we get older, we all become more vulnerable to various disorders/diseases commonly associated with the aging process. Particularly, memory loss and brain atrophy are believed to be hallmarks of aging. Dementia is a collectively term for progressive degenerative brain disorders that severely impair mental abilities to perform daily tasks. The most common or primary form of dementia is infamously known as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), representing 60% to 80% of cases. AD is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive memory loss and impairment in cognitive functions (visual perception, speech, reasoning, attention, etc.). It is not only a personal burden but also a socioeconomic burden: the cost of care is actually equal to or greater than that of heart disease or cancer, with the recent estimates of $159 to $215 billion a year in the US. Exact etiologies of dementia and AD are unknown, although several risk factors such as older age, genetics, family history, history of head trauma, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity have been postulated. No effective medications or medical interventions have yet been available or established, although some of them could improve symptoms.
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