Alzheimer's disease is now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it's only behind heart disease and cancer.
The important thing to remember is this: Alzheimer's disease is not a memory problem -- it is a fatal brain disease.
Right now, an estimated 5.1 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. The disease as always been an epidemic, it's just now diagnosed more often.
The best preventative measure is to stay active. Doctor Sangeeta Shah says it is vital to stay healthy mentally, physically and socially.
And pay close attention to your loved ones for the early signs. Shah says if your loved ones start having a difficult time with daily activities, become disoriented or get lost, you should take them to the doctor immediately. While there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, Shah says the progression can be slowed down if it's caught early.
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