Alzheimer’s is described as a progressive, age related neuro-degenerative disorder.
It is the most common cause of loss of memory in the elderly persons.
The incidence of disease is raising and the age of onset period is going towards early age.
So it might be quiet possible that the Alzheimer signs may appear at early age.
Progression of Alzheimer’s is very gradual and non-stop and life expectancy is roughly around 6 to 12 years of initiation of the disease.
The prominent symptoms include impairment of memory, disturbances in reasoning, planning, language and also perception.
Alzheimer’s stages & signs
They are time based stages seen in the progression of the Alzheimer’s disease. They can be classified as
Initial or early stage: This is a mild stage and the duration period is 2-4 years.
Here there is impairment of short term memory but, the distant memories are present in the patient. Frequent memory loss is seen particularly of recent conversations and events, even there are chances of repeated questions, problems in expressing and understanding language. Writing and using objects becomes difficult and can lead to depression. One may need to remind them about daily activities. Mostly this starting phase of alzhemers stage goes unnoticed even by the physicians.
Mid stage: This is middle/moderate stage and the duration is 2-10 years. Here there is considerable amount of decline in the memory and cognition. They may have an inability to perform visuospatial skills like inability to remember the way to office or home and recognizing shape and size of objects etc. Rambling speech, unusual reasoning, confusion about current events, time, and place. Sleep disturbances, emotional and behavioral problems which are aggravated by stress are noticed. One can even see rigidity, tremors, and gait problems with impact on mobility. But still there is a proper level of alertness and coordination of movements.
Moderate stage: There is increased memory loss and confusion. Even there are problems recognizing family and friends. Inability to learn new things, difficulty carrying out tasks that involve multiple steps (such as getting dressed). Delusions and paranoia are also seen.
Late stage. This is the stage which leads to complication of vital body functions. It is considered as the severe stage and the duration is 1-3 years. Loss of recognition of familiar people and places. Patient shows total loss of verbal skills, problems with swallowing, incontinence of urine, and illness. There are muscular contractions and immobility which can severe the other associated disease condition like pulmonary embolism etc leading to death.
Though there are potential treatment options at different alzheimers stages, there is no permanent cure and only the degeneration may be slowed and the normal life style of victim can be maintained for quiet some time.
Consider some risk factors which can make you prone to Alzheimer’s from the table below.
Though among the factors mentioned in the table are inevitable or not under our control, some of the risk factors can be well minimized like smoking, alcoholism, having an active life style and free from mental depression or disorders.