Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia among older adults. Alzheimer's disease involves parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language and can seriously affect a person's ability to carry out daily activities. Although scientists are learning more every day, right now, they still do not know what causes Alzheimer's disease.
As many as 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease. While younger people may get Alzheimer's disease, it is much less common. The disease usually begins after age 60, and risk goes up with age. About 5 percent of men and women ages 65 to 74 have Alzheimer's disease, and nearly half of those age 85 and older may have the disease. It is important to note, however, that Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging.
Scientists do not yet fully understand what causes Alzheimer's disease. There probably is not one single cause, but several factors that affect each person differently. Age is the most important known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. The number of people with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65.
Family history is another risk factor. Researchers believe that genetics may play a role in developing Alzheimer's disease. Scientists still need to learn a lot more about what causes Alzheimer's disease. In addition to genetics, they are studying education, diet, and environment to learn what role they might play in developing this disease. Scientists are finding more and more evidence that some of the risk factors for heart disease and stroke, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and low levels of the vitamin folate may also increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Evidence for physical, mental and social activities as protective factors against Alzheimer's disease is also growing.
Content source: Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Different people have different warning signs for breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all. A person may find out they have breast cancer after a routine mammogram.
Keep in mind that some of these warning signs can happen with other conditions that are not cancer. If you have any signs that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a blow to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. Even a \"ding,\" \"getting your bell rung,\" or what seems to be mild bump or blow to the head can be serious.
Concussions can occur in any sport or recreation activity. So, all coaches, parents, and athletes need to learn concussion signs and symptoms and what to do if a concussion occurs.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health problem in the United States. Each year, traumatic brain injuries contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability. Recent data shows that, on average, approximately 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury annually.
A TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from \"mild,\" i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to \"severe,\" i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. The majority of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild TBI. CDC's research and programs work to prevent TBI and help people better recognize, respond, and recover if a TBI occurs.
Clinicians play a key role in helping to identify, diagnose and manage traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). They can also help improve patient outcomes when a TBI is suspected or diagnosed by implementing early management and appropriate referral. Share your stories with other brain injury survivors, their family members and caregivers. Become a Partner for better Prevention, Recognition and Response to TBI.
Each year, an estimated 1.7 million TBI-related deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits occur in the U.S. This data translates to 52,000 deaths and 275,000 hospitalizations. In addition, nearly 80%, 1.365 million people are treated and released from an emergency department. The majority of TBIs that occur each year are diagnosed as mild TBIs (MTBI). In fact, a study found that about 75% of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of MTBI. While a MTBI is usually not life-threatening, this injury can have serious and long-term impact on a person's cognitive, physical and psychological function.
Appropriate diagnosis, referral, and patient and family/caregiver education are critical for helping patients with MTBI achieve optimal recovery and to reduce or avoid significant adverse health outcomes. However, diagnosing MTBIs can be challenging as symptoms of MTBI are common to those of other medical conditions and the onset and/or recognition of symptoms may occur days or weeks after the initial injury.
Therefore, CDC has collaborated with multiple organizations and leading experts to develop clinical guidelines and tools for diagnosis and management of patients with MTBI. This critical information is packaged into tool kits, fact sheets and pocket cards, making it easy for clinicians to get what they need to know, when they need to know it. CDC has also developed patient discharge fact sheets, podcasts and other resources for both patients and caregivers about concussion, including tips to help with recovery.
The best way to protect against influenza is to get a flu vaccine every flu season. Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious complications, hospitalization, or even death. Anyone can get the flu, and getting a flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself and your family. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to friends and loved ones.
While flu activity usually peaks in January or February, the flu itself is unpredictable. And although there are many different flu viruses, the yearly flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common that flu season.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine each flu season, and it's especially important that the following groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Studies going back to 1976 have found that flu-related deaths ranged from a low of 4,700 to a high of 56,600 (average 25,500). During a regular flu season, about 90 percent of deaths occur in people 65 years and older. The \"seasonal flu season\" in the United States is usually from November through April each year.
During this time, flu viruses are circulating in the population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.
Vaccines are one of the best ways to prevent the flu and avoid spreading it to people at high risk of flu-related complications. Good health habits can prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like the flu. Flu viruses spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes near another person. They may also spread when people touch something covered with infected droplets and then touch their eyes, mouth, or nose.
Each year, one in every three adults age 65 or older will fall and two million will be treated in an emergency department for injuries caused by falls. Fall injuries, such as hip fracture and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), can be a serious threat to seniors' health and independence.
Thankfully, falls are not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, many falls can be prevented. We can all play a key role in protecting the older adults we care about.
Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells in the body grow out of control. When cancer starts in the prostate, it is called prostate cancer. The prostate is a walnut-sized organ located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum in men. It produces fluid that makes up a part of semen.
Only men can get prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men. In 2006, about 203,000 men in the United States were told by doctors that they had prostate cancer, and more than 28,000 men died from this disease.
There is no way to know for sure if you will get prostate cancer. Men have a greater chance of getting prostate cancer if they are 50 years old or older, are African-American, or have a father, brother, or son who has had prostate cancer.
Different men have different symptoms for prostate cancer. Some men do not have symptoms at all. Some possible symptoms of prostate cancer are:
If you have any symptoms, you should see your doctor right away. Keep in mind that these symptoms may be caused by other health problems.