Symptoms of Alzheimer's

Living With Alzheimer's

Looking At Symptoms of Alzheimers

Alzheimers is a neurological disorder that affects millions of older people. Generally, alzheimers causes memory loss, cognition impairment, loss of control of bodily functions, problems communicating, erratic behaviour and personality changes .The course of the disease differs from person to person but symptoms of alzheimers usually seem to develop over the same general series of stages. However, each progressive stage is characterized by more grave symptoms of alzheimers.

In the early (mild) stage, the individual with alzheimers shows signs of impaired cognitive ability, slight memory loss, may become withdrawn, have less verve and mood swings. The individual may become confused and be slow in learning or reacting, routine tasks may become difficult to perform. In addition, they may have difficulty understanding written material and communicating. This stage usually lasts between 2 and four years. At this mild stage mild memory loss which will be seen as one of the early symptoms of alzheimers may also be due to the condition called Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

Individuals suffering from this ailment may suffer memory impairment but usually have normal perception and judgement and can perform routine tasks without aid. However, individuals with MCI are at risk of further cognitive impairment caused mainly by alzheimers. Note however that while all persons who develop dementia suffer MCI, not all persons with MCI develop alzheimers.

The symptoms of alzheimers in the second, called the moderate stage, are more apparent. Though the individual may still be able to perform simple tasks, they may require help with the more complicated ones that require several steps such as getting dressed. During this stage memories of the past may blur with the present, the individual may forget their history and even recent occurrences. Reading, writing and speech become increasingly more difficult and the individual may even come up with new vocabulary. Impulsiveness, paranoia and delusions may also be present. The individual may become reclusive, depressed, apathetic or constantly irritable as they become aware of their deterioration. It may become necessary to keep a constant watch on the individual as they could wander off and get lost. It is not uncommon for the individual to have trouble eating and sleeping. This is the longest stage of alzheimers and lasts about 2 to 10 years.

The last stage of alzheimers lasts 1 to 3 years. In this stage the symptoms of alzheimers are very severe. The individual may no longer be able to recognize people, communication is severely limited and the individual may only manage short phrases. Motor coordination, the ability to swallow, bladder and bowel control may also be lost. Memory at this stage of alzheimers is practically non-existent and the individual will tend to sleep a lot. Round the clock care is required as the individual may become completely dependent on others. Other symptoms of alzheimers will typically include respiratory problems and kin infections (especially if they are unable to move around), weight loss, seizures, moaning, groaning or grunting.

Having one of the symptoms of alzheimers does not indicate that a person has the disease. However, several symptoms could be an indicator of alzheimers disease. It is important to recognize these symptoms for early diagnosis and appropriate care to ensure maximum quality of life. There are medications and techniques to slow down the disease.

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