Alzheimer's and Dementia
Alzheimer's and dementia are strongly linked because Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia. Dementia is the constant evolution of the atrophy of the brain's cognitive functions. In the case of Alzheimer's, abnormal protein build up happen in the brain which interferes with its normal functions through interactions with the brain nerves and neurotransmitters that cause these elements to whither and die.
Alzheimer's and early stage dementia involve progressive memory loss and other brain functions are attributed to brain deterioration. Natural brain atrophy and cognitive function loss is a normal experience by humans as we age. However, Alzheimer's type of dementia is way beyond what is considered normal.
Alzheimer's type dementia is extremely debilitating and the disease can run its course from as fast as 5-years but some cases stretch on to 20-years. The disruption of Alzheimer's type dementia can be very confusing and difficult. What's really hard to accept is that as of the moment, there are no known cures or successful treatments available for Alzheimer's patients.
Of all the types of dementia, only a very tiny percentage is reversible and Alzheimer's is not one of them. Once it attacks, there can be no slowing or stopping down. All one can do is be prepared for the onslaught. In this case, it is also important the patient's friends and loved one understand and know all about Alzheimer's and dementia so that they too can be allowed to cope with this situation.
If you suffer from the very early stages of Alzheimer's type dementia, it can be very difficult for you to accept what is happening to you while you are aware of your situation. Often times, patients can create very difficult situations for themselves as well as for the people around them. For instance, people with Alzheimer's type dementia can have the same conversation with the same person over and over again without realizing it.
Perhaps a person with Alzheimer's type dementia can forget that they have just previously called a loved one to tell them something only to put the phone down and call right back to talk about the exact same thing. Situations like these can cause difficulties that is why it is important for people with Alzheimer's type dementia to have the proper care.
Loss of correct judgment will inadvertently follow as the Alzheimer's type dementia progresses so it might be prudent for patients to be supervised all the time. Eventually, patients will have to depend exclusively on specialized care for all their needs. This makes it important for patients and their loved ones to choose the right facility for this process.
It is important that people with Alzheimer's type dementia be treated with respect and dignity all throughout the duration of the disease. While the patient has not lost all ability to make judgments and remember important things, they should be consulted in terms of what facilities or type of professional care they think they would benefit from.
As a loved one of someone who has Alzheimer's type dementia, it can be very hard and painful to witness the continuing progressing of alzheimer's disease. This may cause some negative emotions and a lot of grief that may be unwittingly projected at the patient.
However, at the onset of the disease, when the patient is still conscious and aware, they can go through an even more painful process of accepting their disease.
A condition that mainly affects the brain functions, Alzheimer’s disease is actually a form of dementia. A person has dementia when a complex group of conditions develops, causing the gradual destruction of the brain cells, leading to progressive decline in the person’s mental function. Being a common form of this particular brain disorder, Alzheimer’s disease is also characterized by a progressive destruction of the patient’s brain cells. This leads to damage and eventually complete loss of memory and learning abilities, reasoning skills, decision making, communication, and even the ability to carry out daily activities.
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, new treatments have been discovered, due to the deepening insight scientists have of the biology of the disease. One of these insights is the fact that the disease seems to progress in stages – Alzheimer stages.
There are seven Alzheimer stages documented by Alzheimer's experts based on common patterns of symptom progression. These Alzheimer stages correspond in some way to the underlying degeneration of the nerve cells, particularly those that involve learning and memory. As the disease gradually spreads to other cells, the degeneration begins to affect other cognitive functions, such as thinking, judgment, and behavior.
Alzheimer Stages 1 - Early Stage Alzheimer's Disease - No Obvious Impairment
The first of the seven Alzheimer stages exhibit no impairment of the normal functions of the individual patient. Because of this, there is no way that health care professionals may identify any tell-tale signs of Alzheimer’s in the individual during a medical interview at this stage.
Alzheimer Stages 2 - Mild Alzheimer's Disease - Very Mild Cognitive Decline
Some may consider the cognitive decline in this particular stage of the Alzheimer stages as normal, especially if the patient is of an age where mild cognitive decline is to be expected, i.e. persons aged 60 or older. Signs include memory lapses, such as forgetting familiar words or names or the location of keys, eyeglasses, and other everyday objects. These lapses are not apparent during the medical interview or to friends, family, and co-workers.
Alzheimer Stages 3 - Mild Cognitive Decline
In some people, this stage can be diagnosed. It is at this stage that friends, family, and co-workers begin to notice deficiencies.
Alzheimer Stages 4 - Moderate Alzheimer's Disease - Moderate Cognitive Decline
This is known as the mild or early stage Alzheimer’s disease where the problems become clear cut after a careful medical interview.
Alzheimer Stages 5 - Moderately Severe Cognitive Decline
The mid-stage of Alzheimer’s disease shows major gaps in memory and deficits in cognitive function. Patient may start to require some assistance in doing day to day activities.
Alzheimer Stages 6 - Severe Alzheimer's Disease - Severe Cognitive Decline
Difficulties in memory continue to worsen. It is at this stage changes in personality start to emerge.
Alzheimer Stages 7 - Very Severe Cognitive Decline
The final stage when individuals lose the ability to respond to their environment. In addition, they also lose the ability to speak and ultimately, the ability to control movement.