November Is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Comparison of a healthy brain and a brain affected by Alzheimers Disease.

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Comparison of a healthy brain and a brain affected by Alzheimer’s Disease.

Leila Nester, Staff Reporter

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a progressive, deadly brain disease for which there is no cure. Researchers are still working to discover the root cause of the disease, but it’s believed to be caused by the buildup of misfolded proteins between nerve cells, which causes brain damage. This damage begins a decade or more before symptoms start to show. 

It’s important to monitor yourself and your loved ones for any signs of Mild Cognitive impairment (MCI), which can proceed to Alzheimer’s.


  • Memory loss
  • Poor judgment leading to bad decisions
  • Loss of spontaneity  and sense of initiative
  • Taking longer to complete normal daily tasks
  • Repeating questions 
  • Trouble handling money and paying bills
  • Wandering and getting lost
  • Losing things or misplacing them in odd places 
  • Increased anxiety and/or aggression

Signs of MCI

  • Losing things too often 
  • Forgetting to go to events or appointments
  • Having more trouble coming up with words than other people of the same age

What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

Think of Dementia and Alzheimer’s like a cough and a cold. You can have a cough but you don’t always have a cold, like how you can have Dementia but you don’t always have Alzheimer’s. But if you have a cold you’ll have a cough, if you have Alzheimer’s you’ll have Dementia. Alzheimer’s is a specific brain disease, while Dementia is a general term for symptoms, like decline in memory/reasoning or other thinking skills.

Quick Stats 

  • There are over 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease with 3 million new cases every year
  • The disease is more prevalent in women and Black Americans
  • 11 million Americans act as unpaid caregivers for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 Americans are familiar with MCI, which can be an early stage of Alzheimer’s