Alzheimer's Disease: Coach Pat Summitt

I was shocked, as many people were, to learn of the death of Pat Summitt, a pioneer of college Women's Basketball who guided Tennessee to eight national titles in her 38 seasons at the university. She was 64. I had no idea she had a foundation. Check out their website at this link, and also check out the video below about the foundation.

I have received many questions today about Alzheimer's Disease. Here are the three most frequently asked questions I received today:

  • What is Early Onset Dementia or Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease? Early onset (the type that Pat Summitt was diagnosed) is defined as earlier than 65 years old. According to the Alzheimer's Association, up to 5 percent of Alzheimer's have younger onset.
  • How do you die of "complications of dementia" or "complications of Alzheimer's?" According to, in late/advanced stages of dementia, the brain is severely affected to the point where physical function is affected. This means that late stage patients have difficulty with balance, with swallowing, and with bowel/bladder control. They can suffer falls, fractures, malnutrition, and dehydration.
  • How can I prevent dementia or Alzheimer's Disease? According to WebMD, In addition to optimizing your physical health (lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, etc), engage in social and intellectually stimulating activities.