What to look out for during the onset of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that slowly eats away the brain functions little by little. It takes the disease between seven to 10 years to develop completely. As the disease progresses, it affects various brain functions such as memory, movement, judgment, abstract reasoning and even one’s behavior.
Because of the long development stage of the disease, Alzheimer’s has been categorized into three levels which described its progression. These are mild, moderate and severe. These categories defined the disease from the early stage (mild) to the middle stage (moderate) and the final (severe) stage of the disease.
During the early stages of the disease, the symptoms are less noticeable and are often times left unchecked and considered trivial by family members and even the patient themselves. Among the early and classic signs Alzheimer’s disease is the gradual loss of short-term memory.
At times, they appear to be at lost while performing normal activities. Or they might become disoriented and get lost in places that they have been before. Also, during this stage, people afflicted with the disease may experience lapses of judgment and even slight changes in their personality. The mood swings and personality changes will start to worsen as the disease progresses.
Moreover, their attention span is reduced because of the presence of the brain disorder. People with Alzheimer’s tend to be less motivated to complete activities or tasks. Furthermore, they become more stubborn and would oppose changes and new challenges that are set in front of them.
These are just the general conditions or symptoms of people that may be afflicted with the disease. The symptoms naturally vary from person to person. Some of the other symptoms that may appear include speech problems, failure to identify or recognize objects, not recalling how to use simple, ordinary things such as a pencil, and not remembering to turn off the lights, stove, or even lock doors and windows. As the disease progresses so do the symptoms.
However, if one acquires or notice the presence of some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, it does not necessarily mean that one has already been afflicted with the disease. Loss of memory for example might be just a normal cause of aging or other normal factors. Memory loss in Alzheimer’s is more frequent.
People with the disease will more frequently forget words or names during conversations. And because they become conscious of their forgetfulness, they tend to avoid conversations and would rather keep quiet in order to avoid mistakes and embarrassments. They will then become withdrawn which can cause a myriad of other problems like depression and anti-social behaviors.
Other things that might happen are the discovery of things in odd places. One might find books inside freezers, clothes in dishwasher and even plates in washing machines. People with Alzheimer’s will ask questions repeatedly up to the point that it becomes irritating. They can be provoked quite easily and can surprisingly flare up in anger.
Even though no cure has yet been discovered or developed for Alzheimer’s, there are ways that have been created to delay the progression of the disease. Earlier symptoms of the disease respond well to various treatments.
As the rate of progression of the disease differs from person to person, severe dementia occurs within five years to a decade after diagnosis. Because of present treatments and medications, some people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can live more than 10 years after diagnosis. Some even live up to 20 years after the initial diagnosis was made.
It is a fact that most people with Alzheimer’s don’t die of the disease itself, but of infections and other tertiary diseases like pneumonia, or urinary tract infection or complications resulting from concussions.
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