“I’m so happy, I’m thrilled actually, that we were able to hopefully shine a light on Alzheimer’s disease…I like stories about real people, and real relationships, and real families, and that’s what I respond to, and [Still Alice] had all of those things in it. It’s about a real issue.” – Julianne Moore
The Oscars are a big night for any nominated actor—but, in 2015, they were also a big night for Alzheimer’s disease awareness thanks to Julianne Moore. Moore won the award for Best Actress for her performance in the 2014 drama Still Alice, based on a bestselling novel about the experiences of a college professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, a term used to describe a range of symptoms associated with declines in memory and other thinking skills that are bad enough to affect everyday life. Alzheimer’s can cause changes to language ability, decision making, behavior, and personality. It is a progressive condition—meaning that it slowly gets worse over time.
What should I do if I’m worried about Alzheimer’s disease?
If you’re worried about problems you or a loved one might be having with memory, language, and decision making, schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional—preferably a geriatrician. A geriatrician is a physician who has advanced training in caring for older adults and addressing health concerns like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
While risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease include older age, family history, depression, and serious head injury, a growing number of studies suggest that staying mentally, socially, and physically active may lower your risks for mental decline. And while there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, medications, treatment, and other healthcare strategies can slow its progression.
Where can I learn more?
HealthinAging.org has a wealth of resources on Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other related conditions. Visit the site for
- Basic facts about the disease, including an overview of causes, diagnosis, and care;
- Alist of questions to raise with your healthcare provider if you are concerned about dementia;
- Resources for caregivers who may be looking after an older adult with dementia and several other health problems; and
- A Q&A on dementia with geriatrician Dr. Amy Ehrlich.
HealthinAging.org is a special public resource from the Health in Aging Foundation, a national non-profit organization established in 1999 by the American Geriatrics Society. Our mission is to provide older adults, their caregivers, family, and friends with reliable, up-to-date information on health and aging. Overseen by a team of experts on caring for older adults, HealthinAging.org content is based on resources that the American Geriatrics Society has developed for its professional members.
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