Alzheimer’s disease: Be aware of the Early Signs & symptoms that could help you
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that causes it to shrink and cells to die. The Signs and symptoms of the Alzheimer’s disease progress slowly over time and can last for many years
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia — a progressive, irreversible decline in cognitive ability. It can lead to long-term disability and ultimately death.
More than 5.8 million people in the U.S. alone are living with Alzheimer’s disease, which has no cure and is one of the leading causes of death among seniors.
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Signs & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease typically progress slowly over several years. While these may be mistaken for something else, it’s important to note that they are a sign of the disease, and people are often only diagnosed once other signs, such as memory impairment and confusion, start to become more noticeable.
The symptoms of the disease progress at various rates for individual patients.
Doctors sometimes find more signs of infection, stroke, or delirium when they are doing an assessment.
In addition to these conditions, other factors such as certain medications can also worsen the symptoms of dementia.
If symptoms are rapidly worsening, people with Alzheimer’s should have a doctor assess their condition and find out the best way to manage it.
Stages of Alzheimer’s disease
There are usually three main stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Early symptoms Alzheimer’s disease:
Memory loss is the primary early Signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Someone with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease may:
- forget about conversations
- misplace items
- forget the names of places & objects
- find it hard to come up with the right word
- ask questions repetitively
- individuals will have fewer decision-making capabilities
- get less flexible and more hesitant to explore
Make sure to be on the lookout for mood changes, such as becoming anxious or agitated. It may also happen that people feel momentarily confused. Sometimes these periods signal when a panic attack is about to start or that it’s already just begun.
Memory problems worsen as Alzheimer’s Disease develops
Someone with the condition may find it increasingly difficult to remember the names of people they know and may struggle to recognize their family and friends.
Other symptoms may also develop, such as fatigue, chest pain, and dizziness.
- This can lead to feelings of confusion and disorientation – like getting lost, or not knowing what time it is.
- obsessive, repetitive, or impulsive tendencies
- delusions (believing untrue things) or the feeling of being suspicious about carers or family members
- Language disorders are characterized by difficulties in producing and comprehending language, especially grammatical words.
- disturbed sleep
- Troubling changes in mood can be caused by some factors, including depression or severe anxiety.
- difficulty performing spatial tasks, such as judging distances or determining the height or width of an object. These skills are often overlooked but are critical for success in many jobs.
Some people also experience some side effects of vascular dementia.
Many people, including the elderly and those who struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, develop dementia. This usually occurs at an irreversible stage, when symptoms interfere with day-to-day tasks.
They might need help eating, washing up, dressing, or using the loo.
Later symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease:
As Alzheimer’s Disease progresses, the symptoms will worsen at a rapid pace and can be demanding for the person who has it as well as their loved ones.
Hallucinations and delusions can come and go at any time, but they may become worse as the illness progresses.
There are cases when people with Alzheimer’s can be aggressive. They may be demanding and suspicious of their surroundings.
The following are other things that can happen at different stages of Alzheimer’s disease:
- Difficulty eating and swallowing (dysphagia)
- difficulty moving without getting some help
- weight loss
- unintentional passage of urine or stool.
- gradual loss of speech
- The good thing about forgetting things is how moments slip away and our memories become full of holes – a nostalgic and gentle progression of forgetting. We don’t need to be perfect or live in the past.
In the severe stages, people might need 24/7 care with eating, moving, and personal care
Treatment & diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease
If you find yourself frequently forgetting pieces of information or notice other signs and symptoms, it’s best to see a professional. Turing these things into illness can be complex so it’s best to do your due diligence early on.
If you notice that someone else has memory issues, do encourage them to make an appointment. Also, You could offer by going along with them at their next appointment.
Memory problems can stem from many other factors, such as depression, stress, or reduced memory function due to medicine.
Doctors can perform a few basic checks to try and find what the cause might be, and they can refer you to a specialist if necessary.
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