If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), there is no doubt you have many questions about the course of the disease. One common question about Alzheimer’s disease information asked by many newly diagnosed individuals and their family members is; “how long is the life expectancy of someone with the disease?”
While it’s important to note that no two people with AD will experience the exact same symptoms at the same time, there are some general similarities in the prognosis of the disease that experts have noted. Alzheimer’s disease is slow and progressive and in some instances mental functioning may not be severely affected in the initial years of disease. For other individuals the symptoms may result in loss of memory and a quick decline in mental functioning.
What Is the Average Life Expectancy?
On average, the life expectancy of individuals diagnosed with AD is approximately 8 to 10 years, although it’s been known to be as little as 3 years and as many as 20 in some individuals.
Can Intervention Add Life Expectancy?
It’s not known for sure exactly how intervention such as a change in diet or lifestyle can increase the life expectancy of those with AD. To learn more about specific studies on this subject, sign up for our 25 lesson course at AlzU.org by CLICKING HERE. There are, however, some medications that show much promise in slowing the progression of symptoms of the disease, it’s important to discuss these options with your physician.
Factors That may Influence Life Expectancy
A recent study at the University of Washington indicates that there are several factors that may influence life expectancy for those diagnosed with AD, including:
Motor Impairment-those with more severe motor impairment (including a history of wandering and falling) were shown to have a shorter overall life expectancy
Gender-women were found to live slightly longer than men
Severe brain abnormalities-the study shows there is a connection between the severity of brain and
Spinal cord abnormalities and length of life expectancy
Overall health- those with health issues such as heart disease and diabetes had a shorter life expectancy in the study
Lifestyle-those who adhere to a healthier lifestyle such as those who exercise regularly have a longer life expectancy
What You Can Do To Increase Life Expectancy
Follow your physician’s advice on recommended changes in life style, medications and diet to maximize your life expectancy and minimize symptoms of AD. If you are a caregiver, find out about the latest studies on treatment and interventions that improve symptoms of AD and prolong symptoms. Although at the present time AD is not curable, there are many things you can do to help ease the impact it has on your loved one. Talk with your physician about how risk factors and lifestyle may affect your overall life expectancy. Work with your doctor to find the best treatments and lifestyle changes for you.
Learn More About Alzheimer’s Disease Information
If you are a caretaker for an AD patient, learn about the treatments and lifestyle changes that may help slow the progression of AD, although Alzheimer’s disease is not curable, there are measures you can take to ease its toll.