Symptoms And Stages Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Article by Janie Jonah
Alzheimer’s is a disease that developers very slowly over a number of years. Some of these changes occur in the brain long before any noticeable symptoms of Alzheimer’s present. Alzheimer’s stages have been identified or classed using documentation of patients, to analyze and discover patterns that occur frequently in those that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is caused by damage or degeneration that occurs to nerve cells. Typically, these nerve cells are associated with memory and learning. These symptoms indicate only the beginning or early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. The degeneration slowly spreads to other cells that control other aspects of a person’s mental functioning, such as behaviour, judgement and thinking. With behaviour impairment, cells that control and coordinate movement are eventually damaged too. People diagnosed with Alzheimer’s live for an average of 8 years after diagnosis, but because of the fact that the stages of impairment are something of a guideline and are not definitive in a way that one would expect some thing to pass completely from one stage to the next, and the fact that the symptoms will vary from person to person, some sufferers can live for anything from 3 to 20 years after diagnosis.
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s are generally grouped into 3 main stages. These stages are mild, moderate and severe.
Symptoms of the Mild stage of Alzheimer’s Disease
Difficulty learning or storing new information in memory. Loses memory of recent events or things, and has difficulty finding words while communicating with others, and may revert to word substitution instead. A shortening attention span along with having difficulty thinking logically or being organized. Poor judgement and a lack of interest about money matters is also common. Misplacing commonly used items such as car keys. Once on the road they can have difficulty finding their way around familiar places. They do not like anything new and therefor often resist change. Because of the lack of recent memories they also ask repetitive questions. They also find it difficult making decisions and become irritable and angry when frustrated or tired.
Symptoms of the Moderate stage of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Sufferers may hear see or taste things that are not actually there, a form of psychosis. They can becomes suspicious of family members motives along with close friends and familiar people. This can lead to them not being able to recognize familiar people and also have trouble with or confused over issues of ownership, such as not being able to recognize whom objects belong too. Often mistaking other’s for their own. The can forget parts of story telling and sometime will make up imaginary events simply to complete the story or fill in parts that they can not remember. Their personal appearance may change as they having difficulty falling asleep and tend to neglect person hygiene, due to memory loss. They can become confused about the people they meet and will often mistake or mix up relatives, thinking that their brother is actually their son, for example. They may often find themselves awaking in the middle of the night believing it is morning time and they begin to ready themselves for work and the day ahead. They may need help using the toilet, showering and dressing appropriately. They can develop poor judgement which can be extremely dangerous if they are left alone unsupervised. They can also have difficulty following instructions or reading, which makes it extremely difficult for them to follow or complete educational or mental pursuits.
Symptoms of the Severe stage of Alzheimer’s Disease
Patients in the severe stages of Alzheimer’s sometimes end up sleeping more than is usual. They may have difficulty eating. This can occur by simply refusing to eat meals, to forgetting to swallow, and thereby risk choking. These symptoms can lead to significant weight loss along with the thinning of the skin. In the severe stage of Alzheimer’s they often can not recognize themselves, their partner, close friends and family. There speech becomes incoherent, often talking nonsense or becoming completely mute. They lose their mobility and need help walking or standing as they can not do this on their own being weak and often frail. This help unfortunately, may make them uncomfortable and cause them to cry out when touched.In the severe stage they may have seizures and will then require constant assistance and care for all daily activities. This can be due to the loss of bladder and bowel control. Sometimes patients will exhibit repetitive behaviour such as touching or patting everything.
Janie JonahCanadian Prescription Pharmacy Online (c) 2006, PerfectDrugRx. All rights in all media reserved. Reprints must include byline, contact information and copyright.
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