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Mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, is a condition that can also be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease—but not everyone with MCI will develop Alzheimer’s. In addition to memory problems, movement difficulties and problems with the sense of smell have been linked to MCI.
A rare form of Alzheimer’s disease, called early-onset familial Alzheimer’s, or FAD, is inherited (passed down through families). It is caused by mutations, or changes, in certain genes. If one of the gene mutations is passed down, the child will usually—but not always—have FAD. In other cases of early-onset Alzheimer’s, research suggests there may be a genetic component related to other factors.
Most cases of Alzheimer’s are late-onset. This form of the disease occurs in a person’s mid-60s and usually has no obvious family pattern. However, genetic factors appear to increase a person’s risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several drugs to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and certain medicines and other approaches can help control behavioral symptoms.
Scientists are developing and testing possible new treatments for Alzheimer’s. Learn more about taking part in clinical trials that help scientists learn about the brain in healthy aging and what happens in Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Results of these trials are used to improve prevention and treatment methods.
The following organizations also offer assistance with finding financial help:
National Council on Aging
Family Caregiver Alliance