Alzheimer's Disease is a form of dementia (loss of a brain function w/ certain diseases) that gets worse over time and affect's one's memory, thinking, and behavior. There is no official cause of Alzheimer's but usually a person's genes and environmental factors tend to play a role. Even though there is no official cause of Alzheimer's disease, factors that may increase the likelihood of getting AD are old age, family history, high blood pressure for a long time, history of head trauma, and even being female.
There are two different types of Alzheimer's disease: early onset AD, and late onset AD. Early onset AD is much less common than the late onset AD, but it usually gets worse at a faster rate. Symptoms of early onset usually appear before the age of sixty, but early onset can also be hereditary. Late onset AD is the most common type of Alzheimer's. It is capable of being hereditary, but usually is less likely. Symptoms usually occur after the age of 60.
Something that I don't think I really officially knew about Alzheimer's is that there is no known cure. For me, this seems to put AD almost in a league with something like HIV/AIDS in that there is really nothing that one can do about it once they get it. There are drug treatments and such that try and slow the process or neutralize it, but in the grand scheme of things, there really is no stopping it. Some treatments that I found included, slowing the progression of the disease, managing symptoms such as behavior problems, confusion, and sleep problems, and changing your home environment so you can better perform daily activities.
Along with there being no cure for AD, there is also no way of really preventing AD completely. I was able to locate some things that you can do to decrease your risk of getting AD in the future though. These included, consuming a low-fat diet, eating cold-water fish at least 2-3 times per week, increasing your antioxidants by eating lots of darkly colored fruits and veggies, and maintaining a normal blood pressure.
All in all, Alzheimer's is a major, life-changing disease that has impacted millions of people. It is estimated that around 5.4 million people have Alzheimer's disease meaning that the lives of each person's family members, friends, work associates, etc. has also been impacted by this tragic disease. It not only slowly destroys a person's life, but also is an extremely high maintenance condition. It involves countless hours of caregiving and work, just to keep daily routines somewhat in-check. In all, I'd have to say that AD would possibly be one of the worst things ever to happen to anybody, and therefore I encourage everyone to try and take the proper steps towards preventing it.