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August 15, 2019

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease is an illness that currently affects 1 in 11 seniors in Canada. 

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a degenerative disease that causes brain lesions. Memory loss is the most recognized symptom. At this time, there is no cure for AD. However, progress currently being made in research is helping to enhance the quality of life of those affected.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

Over time, the patient’s brain cells shrink or disappear and are replaced by dense, irregularly shaped spots called plaques. These plaques gradually affect the various areas of the brain, impairing memory, imagination, language, reasoning and judgment. AD affects each patient differently. However, the progression of the disease can be divided into three distinct stages:

The three stages of Alzheimer’s disease

Early stage (two to four years)

  • Some forgetfulness
  • Difficulty processing new information
  • Concentration and orientation problems

Middle stage (two to ten years)

  • Significant loss in ability to cognitive function
  • More pronounced loss of memory
  • Difficulty recognizing people
  • Mood swings
  • Repetitive gestures
  • Passivity

Late stage (indeterminate)

  • Severely altered faculties
  • Inability to recognize others
  • Frequent sleeping
  • Inability to speak, dress or wash
  • Incontinence  
  • Recourse to non-verbal communication

Risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease

Here are a few of the main risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease:


Those 65 and over are more likely to suffer from AD. Moreover, since women live longer than men, they are more likely to be affected by AD.


Despite what we may hear, only 5 to 10 percent of cases are due to heredity.

Head injury

Those who have had a head injury appear to be more at risk of developing AD.

Certain diseases

Conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, Down syndrome, arthritis and cardiovascular diseases may increase the risk for AD.

Treating Alzheimer’s disease

At the moment, there are no treatments that can cure Alzheimer’s. While useful, prescription medications for AD only address symptoms and simply delay the deterioration of abilities and behaviour among certain patients.


Although science has not yet discovered the key to treating AD, it has nevertheless identified certain factors that can prevent or delay its onset. For example, you should:

  • Exercise
  • Manage your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Stimulate your mind (reading, crosswords, sudoku, etc.)
  • Eat a healthy diet

Finding support

Alzheimer’s disease is difficult for both sufferers and the loved ones who care for them. Sound, practical advice, along with adequate support, can help them face this experience with greater serenity.

Pharmacy services

Do you have questions about Alzheimer’s disease? Talk to your pharmacist. They're there to help!

Services in pharmacy are the sole responsibility of pharmacist-owners. Only pharmacists are responsible for pharmacy practice. They only provide related services acting under a pharmacist-owner's name.

The Website deals with health-related topics. The information presented has been validated by experts and is accurate at the time of posting. In no way does it replace the opinion of a health care professional. Uniprix Inc. and its affiliated pharmacists accept no liability whatsoever in connection with the information provided on this Website.