Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder in which the brain cells degenerate and die, causing memory problems and other cognitive impairments. Alzheimer’s is said to be the most common causes of dementia.
When the proteins in the brain fail to function properly and interrupts the functioning of brain cells might result in Alzheimer’s disease. In such conditions, brain cells lose their connections, degenerate and finally die.
Alzheimer’s Association states that Alzheimer’s condition accounts for 60% to 80% of dementia – It is a condition that disrupts a person’s ability of thinking, behavioural and social skills of working independently.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Alzheimer's disease:
Over time Alzheimer’s destroys your memory power and other vital functions in the brain. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease vary from person to person and mostly its progress through a series of stages. The condition becomes more severe with the progression of each stage and can be observed through their signs or symptoms.
- Trouble in solving-problems and planning
- Confusion with time & place
- Misplacing objects and not able to retrace steps
- Problems with vision and spatial awareness
- Difficulty in performing daily tasks
- Problems with written or verbal communication ability
- Decreased or poor judgement
- Mood and personality changes
- Withdrawal from social activities or work
Difficulties with language are also a key early symptom, for example, while talking struggling to find the right words. So if symptoms become worse over time, consult a specialist doctor and seek immediate medical attention.
The 7 stages of Alzheimer's
Researchers and other expert physicians classified Alzheimer’s into a series of stages to describe how the condition of a person with Alzheimer’s progresses over time.
Stage One – Absence of Impairment: In the first stage of Alzheimer’s, there will be no problems related to memory, communication or other daily activities. Alzheimer’s is not detectable.
Stage Two – Very Mild Cognitive Decline: In this stage, minor memory problems associated with ageing are noticed like forgetting car keys, purse and some other daily used things.
Stage Three – Mild Cognitive Decline: In this stage, a person with Alzheimer’s will experience behaviour changes, lack of concentration and some other cognitive problems.
Stage Four – Moderate Cognitive Decline: This stage is also called as Early-Stage of Alzheimer’s. In this stage, short-term memory, cognitive decline and other symptoms are clearly evident.
Stage Five – Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline: In the fifth stage of Alzheimer’s, major memory problems are observed, and people with Alzheimer’s can’t even perform their day-to-day activities such as dressing, bathing etc. In this stage, they even forget their home address, phone number and also face difficulties to identify where they are.
Stage Six – Severe Cognitive Decline: This is the most challenging stage for people with Alzheimer’s. In this stage, people with Alzheimer’s experience personality and behaviour changes, confusion, inability to recognise faces and even Losses their control over bladder and bowel movements.
Stage Seven – Very Severe Cognitive Decline: In this final stage, people lose complete control and no longer be able to respond to the surrounding environment. Round the clock care is required because their primary activities begin to shut down. Alzheimer’s disease is a terminal illness and people in this stage are closer to death.
What Are The Causes & Risk Factors Of Alzheimer's ?
However, the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is yet to be understood by experts. There are various reasons for the causes of Alzheimer’s. It also results from lifestyle and environmental factors affecting your brain over time.
- Plaques(made from beta-amyloid protein)
- Tangles(made from tau protein)
- Increasing age
- Family history of Alzheimer’s
- Down syndrome
- Head injuries
- Cardiovascular disease
- Poor sleep patterns
Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease means that it can affect younger people, typically between 30 and 60 years of age. It accounts for nearly 5% of all Alzheimer’s cases.
Treatment For Alzheimer's disease
Of course, a permanent cure for Alzheimer’s disease is yet found, but various treatments can reduce the severity and slows down the progression of symptoms. Treating the symptoms can improve lost functions. Below medication is the best way to treat cognitive symptoms.
- Cholinesterase Inhibitors
- Memantine (Namenda)
- Antidepressants and Antianxiety medications to treat symptoms
Along with medication, changes in lifestyle also boost the improvement of the condition of Alzheimer’s disease. It is a progressive disease and worsens over a period of 4 to 20 years. Early diagnosis and preventive care can save you from Alzheimer’s disease.