Alzheimer’s is a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of dementia. There are currently no drugs available that prevent or even slow its course, but we are making progress on developing effective treatments.

Research shows that damage to the brain starts 15 to 20 years before problems become evident. In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear after age 70. In a subset of patients with early-onset Alzheimer’s, however, symptoms occur before age 65.



Scientists have made great strides in accurately diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease. Though current drugs only treat the symptoms of the disease, several potential drugs in late-stage clinical trials offer hope for slowing the progress of Alzheimer’s.


Early diagnosis offers the best hope to treat and manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. An early and accurate diagnosis can help a family plan for necessary financial and social supports—with input from the patient. Today, doctors can accurately diagnose the presence of Alzheimer’s about 90 percent of the time, using clinical, non-invasive methods. These include:

  • Questions about the patient’s health, past medical problems and ability to carry out daily tasks
  • Cognition tests including memory, problem solving, attention level and language
  • Medical tests such as brain scans


There are currently no treatments that will stop or reverse the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are currently five FDA-approved medications available that may be able to relieve symptoms for patients such as memory loss, for a limited time. If you have Alzheimer’s you are eligible for a Medical Marijuana recommendation in New York State