Fact Sheets

Alzheimer’s Disease and Caregiving

Overview

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a condition that causes abnormal changes in the brain mainly affecting memory and other mental abilities. Alzheimer's is a disease, not a normal part of aging. Loss of memory is the usual first symptom. As the disease progresses, the loss of reasoning ability, language, decision-making ability, judgment and other critical skills make navigating day-to-day living impossible without help from others, most often a family member or friend. Sometimes, but not always, difficult changes in personality and behavior occur.

Stroke

Definition

A stroke is an injury to the brain caused when the brain's blood supply is interrupted or greatly reduced. The brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients, and brain cells begin to die within minutes. For that reason, a stroke is considered a medical emergency and requires prompt diagnosis and treatment.

 

Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Definition

Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) is a progressive degenerative disease or syndrome of the brain. It shares symptoms,and sometimes overlaps, with several diseases, especially Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Frontotemporal Dementia

Definition

Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) is a degenerative condition of the front (anterior) part of the brain. It differs from other causes of dementia such as Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body and Creutzfeldt Jakob’s diseases. FTD is currently understood as a clinical syndrome that groups together Pick's disease, primary progressive aphasia and semantic dementia. The areas of the brain affected by FTD—the frontal and anterior temporal lobes—control reasoning, personality, movement, speech, social graces, language and some aspects of memory.

Hypoxic-Anoxic Brain Injury

Introduction and Definition

The brain requires a constant flow of oxygen to function normally. A hypoxic-anoxic injury, also known as HAI, occurs when that flow is disrupted, essentially starving the brain and preventing it from performing vital biochemical processes. Hypoxic refers to a partial lack of oxygen; anoxic means a total lack. In general, the more complete the deprivation, the more severe the harm to the brain and the greater the consequences.

Huntington's Disease

Definition

Huntington’s Disease (HD), also called Huntington’s chorea, is an inherited brain disorder that results in loss of physical control and mental capacity. Symptoms typically appear between the ages of 30 and 50, but may appear earlier or later. HD is characterized by progressive physical, cognitive and psychological deterioration.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Introduction

Each year, an estimated 2.5 million people in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury. The impact on their families and caregivers is immense. This fact sheet discusses traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its consequences, and provides information about the helpful resources available to families caring for a loved one affected by TBI.

 

Holding a Family Meeting

When taking care of an elderly parent or another relative, family members need to work cooperatively. The more people participating in care, the less alone a caregiver feels in his/her role. Books and articles about caregiving often mention the family meeting as a way to facilitate this process. But how does one go about having such a meeting?

Brain Tumor

Introduction

A brain tumor is a collection of damaged cells that multiply out of control within the brain. Also called a neoplasm, growth, mass or lesion, a brain tumor is classified as either primary or secondary (metastatic), and can be benign or malignant.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

What is ALS?

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